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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

On a favorite Rick Scott TV network, Florida doesn't stack up well



One of Gov. Rick Scott's favorite national media outlets is CNBC, the all-business channel where he gets a soapbox to effusively talk up his state, as he did in May when Hertz revealed plans to move its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to Lee County.

Scott is also a very big fan of Squawk Box, CNBC's morning show, whether it's as a market-savvy viewer or in-studio guest. But as it turns out, CNBC seems a lot more impressed with the governor than with Florida's ability to market itself to companies building jobs.

The network recently released its annual state-by-state rankings of America's Top States for Business, with input from leading business voices such as the National Association of Manufacturers. You have to scroll all the way down to No. 30 to find the Sunshine State, behind such high-tax, high-regulation rust-belt stalwarts as Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. When you're 30th out of 50 in anything, you're looking pretty mediocre.

CNBC's rankings, like others, is subjective, and the network used 10 separate criteria to measure states' competitiveness. Florida ranks highest in availability of workers (No. 4 nationally) and in technology and innovation (No. 11). The state ranked low in the category of -- ready, Rick? -- the economy, at No. 38, and not much better, 35th, in the category of business friendliness. In the category of quality of life, Florida ranked 28th in CNBC's survey, behind even gritty New Jersey at No. 23.

CNBC said it weighted its 10 categories "based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves."

In CNBC's view, the No. 1 overall state for business friendliness is South Dakota, and (more bad news for Scott) it's followed closely by Texas.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 6:26pm]


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