Survey: CEOs Rank MN 36th for Business Conditions

Minnesota's ranking represents a seven-spot drop from last year, when it ranked 29th; it ranked 22nd in 2008.

Minnesota regularly boasts high rankings on lists measuring everything from arts and culture to health and job opportunities.

But ask a CEO how the state stacks up in terms of business conditions, and the picture might be a bit bleaker.

The land of 10,000 lakes ranked 36th on Chief Executive magazine's 2012 list of the best and worst states in which to do business, which measured the sentiment of CEOs on specific business conditions around the nation. The ranking represents a seven-spot drop from last year, when Minnesota ranked 29th; it ranked 22nd in 2008.

For the 2012 survey, 650 CEOs from across the United States evaluated states on issues including regulations, tax policies, work force quality, educational resources, quality of living, and infrastructure.

Minnesota earned two out of a possible five stars for taxation and regulations, based on the survey responses of the CEOs. It earned four stars for both work force quality and living environment.

Chief Executive pointed out that the state's gross domestic product grew 1.56 percent between 2007 and 2010-not as much as the national average of 1.89 percent. Minnesota's state and local tax burden is also higher than the national average, the magazine said.

Minnesota's unemployment rate, however, was 5.7 percent in December-significantly lower than the 8.5 percent national jobless rate.

The state ranked 38th for domestic migration, having lost 46,635 residents between 2000 and 2009.

Minnesota's “development trend indicator” was listed as “negative”-and the magazine said that a “divided statehouse stalls progress on tort reform and other business concerns.”

The states that topped the 2012 list were Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Indiana. California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan ranked at the bottom, in that order.

To view the full list, click here.