Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hawaii Ranks High in Quality of Life but Second to Last as a Place to Do Business

According to a CNBC's, America's Top States For Business, Hawaii ranks second to last following Rhode Island but doing better than Alaska.

CNBC ranked each state in ten categories: Cost of Doing Business, Workforce, Economy, Education, Quality of Life, Technology & Innovation, Transportation, Cost of Living, Business Friendliness, and Access to Capital.

On the up side, Hawaii ranked high on quality of life (6th) and economy (8th). Quality of life was scored on factors including local attractions, the crime rate, and health care. Economy was scored on factors including diversity of economy, access to the biggest players in a variety of industries, basic indicators of economic health and growth, and credit was given to states based on the number of major corporations located there.

On the down side, Hawaii ranked in the bottom quartile in all other categories. In particular, cost of doing business (49th), where CNBC looked at tax burden (including individual income and property taxes, business taxes, the gasoline tax), utility costs, cost of wages and state workers’ compensation insurance, and rental costs for office and industrial space. The workforce category (49th) looked at education level of workforce, numbers of available workers, union membership (a negative in CNBC's mind), and relative success of each state’s worker training programs in placing their participants in jobs. Hawaii placed last in transportation and cost of living.

Most related to land use was Hawaii's poor score on business friendliness (46th). Business friendliness looked at a state's regulation and litigation framework, a bane to businesses and property owners alike.

The complete report can be found at

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