Texas again ranks as top state for best business climate

Texas again ranks as top state for best business climate

(The Center Square) – Texas keeps ranking first – from job creation to economic expansion to best business climate every year. This month and year was no different.

Texas was recognized as the Best Business Climate in the U.S. in 2023 for the second consecutive year by Business Facilities magazine in its 20th Annual Rankings Report.

“This year’s recognition of Texas is underpinned by sustained economic development activity throughout the entire state. From the Gulf Coast to the Panhandle, and from east to west, communities large and small are attracting a diverse range of companies,” Business Facilities Editorial Director Anne Cosgrove said. “Advanced manufacturing, professional services, and data centers are among the business types locating in the state in 2023 and into 2024. The teamwork between the Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC), the Office of Governor Abbott, and communities throughout the state are propelling long-term economic growth for business and residents.”

The magazine evaluated “more than 60 factors pertinent to site selection teams for business relocation and expansion investments,” and the rankings serve “as a valuable resource for corporate site selectors and site selection consultants,” it says.

The Best Business Climate ranking also considers economic development activity, including capital investment and job creation announcements and implementation, as well as each state’s economic strength, regulatory and tax climate, infrastructure, and workforce availability.

It notes that Texas welcomed more than 1,200 expansion and relocation projects in 2023, which are expected to create nearly $60 billion in capital investment and more than 35,000 jobs. Last year, through April 2024, 24 companies relocated to Texas choosing it for their corporate headquarters. Texas also led the U.S. last year in having the most foreign direct investment, with $20.3 billion in capital investment across 235 projects, it notes.

In response, Gov. Greg Abbott said, “Texas continues to lead the nation as the Best Business Climate. When businesses succeed, Texans succeed. That is why we are outpacing the nation in job growth and expanding in both existing and emerging industries. Texas offers unmatched business advantages – a welcoming business climate, no corporate or personal income tax, a highly skilled and diverse workforce, easy access to global markets, robust infrastructure, and a reasonable regulatory environment.

Texas, as the eighth-largest economy in the world, broke many records and ranked first in many categories last year, The Center Square reported. Its economy grew at a faster rate than the national rate, its real GDP growth rate was 5.7% compared to the 2.5% national rate. In the third quarter of 2023, Texas’s real GDP was $2.5 trillion, with a growth rate of 7.7%. Every month, Texas continues to break its previous jobs records and leads the U.S. in job growth, The Center Square reported.

“With a skilled and diverse workforce, easy access to global markets, reasonable regulations, and an exceptional quality of life, we are focused on remaining the best state for business in the nation,” Adriana Cruz, executive director of Texas Economic Development & Tourism, said.

TEDT also notes that among state rankings, in 2023, Texas ranked first for having the best business climate, first for semiconductor production, second in food processing, second in cyber security, and third in aerospace and defense. In metro rankings last year, Austin ranked first for life sciences growth, Georgetown was the fastest growing city with a population of over 50,000, Baytown had the second-best industrial park and Bowie County the third best in the country. The top five corporate headquarters in the country were in Dallas/Irving/Plano, TEDT notes.

Major new multibillion dollar projects are underway, according to TEDT, including NextDecade Corp. investing $8 billion in Brownsville, Sempra Infrastructure investing $13 billion in Port Arthur, Chevron Phillips investing $8.5 billion in Orange, ExxonMobil investing $2 billion in Beaumont, and Graphic Packaging International Investing $1 billion in Waco.

The latest manufacturing announcement also came last week with Toyota Texas saying it was expanding its operation in the San Antonio area. Its latest investment of $531 million will construct a new 500,000-square-foot production facility and create more than 400 new jobs.