A new ranking put out this week by Forbes magazine ranks Maine at the bottom of the list of “Best States for Business.”
Maine drops from 41 to 50 in the survey, which Forbes has been doing for five years. In the first year of the survey, 2006, Maine ranked 46th.
According to an article on the survey on Forbes.com, the survey measures business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, the current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life, figuring in 33 points of data. The survey ranks business costs — including labor, energy and taxes — most heavily, the article said.
“Growth prospects in Maine have deteriorated relative to the rest of the country. Job growth is expected to increase 1.3% annually over the next five years — one of the worst forecasts in the country,” the article said. “The state has endured a rash of business closings the past three years as well.”
Such survey rankings putting Maine at the bottom or near the bottom with regard to business climate aren’t new. Energy costs, regulatory structure, high income taxes and a limited labor pool are often listed as contributing factors, and those same issues have been cited constantly in the governor’s race.
Republican Paul LePage brought up the survey at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce-Rudman & Winchell Gubernatorial Debate Thursday night debate in Bangor.
Topping the list was Utah, followed by Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and Washington. At the bottom of the list were Rhode Island at No. 49, Mississippi at 48, Michigan at 47 and Hawaii at 46.