Out-of-state perception of workforce quality and living environment shows room for improvement.
Alabama 20th Best for Business, CEOs say
More than 500 CEOs across the country took part
in Chief Executive magazine’s annual “Best and Worst States
for Business” survey, and Alabama ranked
just above the middle of the pack at No. 20. However, there were discrepancies
between out-of-state CEOs and those who operate businesses located in Alabama.
Across the board, the CEOs surveyed had a
generally positive view of the state’s business-friendliness, but non-Alabama
CEOs tended to have a less positive impression of the workforce and living
environment. Forrest Wright, president of the Economic Development Authority
for the Shoals area, told the Associated Press this was a common perception that recruiters fight to overcome in
discussions and that some parts of the state do better than others. But when
prospective industries listen to presentations about Alabama’s business climate
with an open mind, he said, it’s easier to show them that the state is a good
place to locate a company.
The survey focused on three factors—taxes and
regulation, workforce quality, and living environment—all of which incorporated
- Taxes and regulation included
state income tax, corporate tax rates, perceived attitude government has
toward business, employment rates, environmental compliance regulations,
and tax incentives.
- Workforce quality included
employee-management relationships, work ethic, education level, wage
rates, and availability of workers with specialized experience and
- Living environment included crime
rate, quality of education and healthcare, cost of real estate,
transportation access, and arts and cultural institutions.
Alabama ranked No. 17 in taxes and regulation,
No. 33 in workforce quality, and No. 33 in living environment. Its overall No.
20 ranking was up from last year’s ranking of No. 24, but down from No. 17 in
2014 and No. 16 in 2013.