Connecticut scores poorly (again) in CNBC business survey

By Kevin Zimmerman

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“We’re Number 43!” may not be much of a chant, but it is reflective of Connecticut’s place on CNBC’s 10th annual “Top States for Business” survey, which found the Nutmeg State dropping from its 2015 ranking — a so-so 33rd, impressive only when compared with this year’s tally.

The cable network scored all 50 states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness, developed with input from an array of business and policy experts, official government sources, and the states themselves. States received points based on their rankings in each metric, with those metrics then separated into 10 broad categories — including workforce, cost of doing business, and business friendliness — which are weighted based on how frequently each is used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials.

Topping the survey with 1,598 total points was Utah, followed by Texas (1,564) and Colorado (1,555). Last year’s leader, Minnesota, came in fourth this year with 1,550 points.

“High costs and poor infrastructure hinder the Nutmeg State,” CNBC said of Connecticut’s 1,110 points, “but it scores high in innovation and quality of life.”

Finishing last was Rhode Island, with 981 points. Connecticut’s neighbors Massachusetts (1,378 points) and New York (1,258) finished 20th and 29th, respectively.

“It’s disappointing, but not surprising to see Connecticut had a significant drop in its business climate ranking from last year,” said Joe Brennan, president of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA). “This ranking not only reflects the major tax hikes we saw last year, but also the fact that we are continuing to experience fiscal uncertainty.”

“We have tremendous assets in Connecticut but bad policy choices over the years limit those strengths,” he added. “We can and must do a better job in order to see increased economic and job growth.

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