"BLOG: The good, bad, and ugly for Connecticut in CNBC’s rankings of the 'Top States for Doing Business'"

Blog - CNBC Top Rankings Connecticut - Campaign for Tomorrow's Jobs

As Connecticut continues lagging behind the national average in post-recession job growth, when it comes to ranking the state’s current position to compete for tomorrow’s jobs, there’s some good news, bad news, and some ugly news, according to CNBC’s annual report on the “Top States for Doing Business.”

Good News

Connecticut’s overall business prowess (#33) changed for the better as much as any other state, tying for the highest jump in year-over-year overall rankings. The change is primarily due to a 15-place jump in education (#3), which is mainly due to a rise in high school test scores.

However, the report also notes that education in the state is in a flux due to changes that may result from a school funding formula fix in the midst of a state budget fiasco (at the Campaign for Tomorrow’s Jobs, we support a school funding formula fix that more fairly funds education according to a student’s learning needs).

Workforce (#7), technology and innovation (#13), quality of life (#23), and access to capital (#20) are also areas of improvement. When it comes to bolstering access to capital, with Gov. Malloy recently signing into law legislation that expands investment eligibility under the state’s angel investor tax credit, the future continues to look bright for the state in this category.

Bad News

Connecticut’s ranking in the economy category is virtually stagnant in the bottom ten states (#41) nationally. With recent news of insurance giant Aetna moving its headquarters out of state, it doesn’t bode well for future upward mobility in this category.

The cost of doing business (#43) jumped two slots, but the Nutmeg State remains in the bottom ten in this category, too. With the state's biennium budget yet to be resolved in the face of a $2.3 billion deficit for this fiscal year alone, seemingly there is little confidence that things are going to get better on this front anytime soon.

The state's business friendliness ranking (#32) has fallen three spots. However, when it comes to business friendliness, the recent creation of a small business hotline, serving as a one-stop shop for interactions between entrepreneurs and the state, is a step in the right direction.

Ugly News

Connecticut's infrastructure ranking failed to separate itself from the bottom, receiving the same ranking (#47) as last year. With 57 percent of the state's roads in need of repair, according to Federal Highway Administration data, actions such as voter approval of a 2018 ballot question to protect transportation funds with a lockbox will hopefully help the state make necessary transportation investments in the future.

Cost of living remains in the bottom five nationally (#45), and the future does not look bright.  A combination of already high state and local property taxes, coupled with projected budget deficits, does not paint a hopeful outlook for the state in this category either.

Bottom Line

Is Connecticut in the best position possible to win the competition for tomorrow's jobs? No, according to this report. There are some signs of hope. However, there's a lot of work to do to ensure Connecticut’s economy gets stronger for present and future generations.

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