Virginia Back Atop Best for Business Listing

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — Virginia is back on top of a national ranking for the best states for business.

Forbes released its ranking on Wednesday, with Virginia reclaiming the top spot it held for four consecutive years before losing it in 2010. Virginia ranked second from 2010 through 2012.

The Forbes ranking considers states’ business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

Virginia finished in the top five in four of the study’s six categories, including first in regulatory climate because of the state’s business-friendly government policies.

Forbes says Virginia’s diverse economy, strong workforce and pro-business regulatory framework propelled it to the No. 1 spot. But, Forbes says, Virginia “faces potentially the biggest fallout of any state from sequestration and cuts in federal spending.”

North Dakota was ranked second, followed by Utah, North Carolina and Colorado.

Maryland was ranked 18th, down from 16th in the 2012 ranking. Forbes cites the state’s high labor costs — second highest in the country behind only Massachusetts — as a reason for its slip, but notes that Maryland’s poverty rate is the third lowest in the country at 10.3 percent.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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