Nebraska cracks top-10 in “Top States for Business”

Nebraska has jumped into the top 10 states for business in 2022, coming in at 7th in the annual ranking released by CNBC. The Cornhusker State was 13th in 2021. 

“Nebraska’s business-friendly policies have paved the way for strong growth and record-high employment,” said Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Anthony L. Goins.  “This spring, we passed historic tax relief to make it even more attractive for job creators to choose Nebraska.  Being ranked by CNBC as the Midwest’s top state for business highlights our success and confirms the progress we’ve made.” 

Minnesota and Iowa were the next two Midwestern states in the ranking, at 9th and 12th respectively.  

Since 2007, CNBC has ranked the sates across 10 categories of competitiveness, weighted based on how important they are in a given year. The categories, in order of their 2022 weight, are workforce, infrastructure, cost of doing business, economy, life health and inclusion, tech and innovation, business friendliness, education, access to capital, and lowest cost of living.  

Category NE Rank 
Life, Health & Inclusion 7th
Business Friendliness12th 
Economy 13th
Cost of Doing Business16th 
Cost of Living19th
Infrastructure 22nd
Technology & Innovation24th
Education 24th
Access to Capital 32nd 
Overall 7th  

Every state is scored and ranked in each category and overall based on their point total. Nebraska’s highest ranking came in Life, Health & Inclusion, which was tied for 4th with economy on the weighted scale. In total, Nebraska ranked in the top half of all states in all but two of the categories. 

When describing this category, CNBC says “Combine an era of enhanced social consciousness with a growing worker shortage, and it explains why, now more than ever, companies are demanding that states offer a welcoming and inclusive environment for employees. We rate the states on livability factors like per capita crime rates and environmental quality. We look at inclusiveness in state laws, including protections against discrimination of all kinds, as well as voting rights. While the pandemic may be past the crisis stage, health care quality, outcomes, preparedness and public health spending remain in the spotlight. All are key drivers in this category.” 

In addition to their point totals, states receive a letter grade in each category to measure their performance relative to the competition. Grading is scaled, with the high score equal to 100 percent and the low score equal to 50 percent. 

Nebraska’s highest graded category was cost of doing business, which graded as an “A”.  

“As inflation ravages company balance sheets, we measure the strength of each state’s business tax climate,” said CNBC in their methodology description. “We also measure wage and utility costs, as well as the cost of office and industrial space. And we consider incentives and tax breaks that states offer to reduce business costs, with special emphasis on incentives targeted toward development in disadvantaged communities.”