CNBC ranks R.I. No. 45 on top states for business list

RHODE ISLAND ranked No. 45, tied with Maine, on CNBC's America's Top States for Business. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
RHODE ISLAND ranked No. 45, tied with Maine, on CNBC's America's Top States for Business. Do rankings such as these affect your company's business plans? / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island ranked sixth lowest on the CNBC “America’s Top States for Business 2018” released Tuesday, tied with Maine.

The study uses more than 60 metrics to rate states on areas of focus such as business friendliness, quality of life, infrastructure and economy, among others.

Rhode Island also ranked No. 45 in 2017.

The state was determined to have the worst infrastructure in the country, the same as it did in 2017.

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The state received its highest ranking for its workforce, which was determined to be No. 15 in the nation, after being ranked No. 27 in 2017.

The rest of the category rankings for the Ocean State:

  • Education – No. 25 (No. 20 in 2017)
  • Quality of life – No. 27 (No. 31 in 2017)
  • Economy – No. 28 (No. 29 in 2017)
  • Technology & Innovation – No. 33 (No. 34 in 2017)
  • Business friendliness – No. 38 (No. 37 in 2017)
  • Cost of living – No. 42 (No. 42 in 2017)
  • Access to capital – No. 43 (No. 44 in 2017)
  • Cost of doing business – No. 44 (No. 43 in 2017)

R.I. Commerce Corp. spokesman Matt Sheaff said that the CNBC report reflected progress despite the ranking.

“Rhode Island continues to make good progress on key economic indicators and in a variety of ranking systems,” said Sheaff. “On this year’s CNBC survey we improved in half of the categories, including ranking 15th best in the nation for our workforce. On the ranking of our economy we continue to improve, up one spot to 28th this year, and our quality of life ranking improved by four spots. Its worth noting that CNBCs approach to infrastructure ranking continues to lag our progress in this area, holding Rhode Island back [for now].”

Sheaff also pointed to other more favorable rankings on Rhode Islands business and living environment such as this yearChief Executive state business rankings and U.S. News Best States ranking as signs that the state is improving.

Despite the improvements, he added that, “there is plenty of work to do, and we wont rest until all Rhode Islanders and businesses feel part of Rhode Island’s improving economy.”

This year, Massachusetts ranked No. 8 overall. The state was determined to have the top workforce in the country, ranked No. 1 for education, No. 2 for technology innovation and No. 7 for access to capital. The Bay State also ranked No. 48 for cost of living, No. 43 for cost of doing business and No. 42 for infrastructure.

Texas ranked No. 1 overall this year. Massachusetts was the only state in New England in the top 20. New Hampshire was the second-highest rated New England state at No. 24. Vermont ranked No. 32, while Connecticut came in at No. 37.

Rhode Island and Maine were the lowest-rated New England States, tied at No. 45. Alaska was ranked last in the report.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.

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