Report: Ohio among 10 ‘worst’ states for business

11:12 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 Business
Amazon has hired 4,500 people in the past year to work at its Central Ohio distribution centers. THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Ohio is one of the “least friendly” states for business, among the 10 worst states in business climate, according to a new compilation.

Ohio is ranked at No. 42, according to a 24/7 Wall St. ranking.

Ohio has seen tepid growth, at 1.1 percent, the 17th smallest among the 50 states, with only 27.5 percent of adults having a bachelor’s degree, the 14th lowest among the states for that ranking, the report claims.

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“A struggling economy is not conducive to good business environment, and Ohio’s economy shows signs of continued stagnation in a number of measures,” the report claims. “Both in the most recent year and on aggregate over the last five years, the state’s economy grew at a slower pace than the national economy.”

The ranking also says Ohio was also one of just seven states with fewer than 200 building permits issued per 100,000 residents in 2016. Nationally, there were 373 building permits issued for every 100,000 residents.

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The web site says it considered several factors in arriving at its ranking, including economic conditions, business costs, state infrastructure, the availability and skill level of the workforce, quality of life, regulations, technology and innovation, and cost of living.

The report puts Massachusetts as the best state for doing business and Louisiana as dead last at 50.

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No doubt, there are those who would and will take issue with the ranking, however. JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development corporation, for example, points out that since 2007, there has been a 140 percent increase  in the number of computer engineering graduates and a 125 percent increase in the number of information science graduates in Ohio.

JobsOhio also notes that Ohio has no corporate profits or corporate income tax and only one business tax, a commercial activities tax.

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Others have seen the promise in Ohio. Site Selection Magazine ranked Ohio fourth in state business climates in 2017 while Fortune magazine ranked Ohio at No. 7 for economic climate, JobsOhio also notes.