Which State is Best for Starting a Business?
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Financial Services Jobs Dry Up
For years, the financial services sector has been one of the few growing industries in the state's sputtering economy, generating consistent job growth and high wages. But Rhode Island's housing meltdown and Wall Street's unraveling have not spared the pride and joy of the state's economy. By last November, employment in financial services was down to 33,000, nearly 2,000 below the 2007 level. Finance jobs make up around 8% of all private-sector employment in Rhode Island.
Source: The Providence Journal
Officials Question Businesses in Probe of Unemployment Agency
An audit of the South Carolina agency in charge of unemployment benefits will focus on how it determines eligibility for aid and whether businesses are paying their fair share into the trust fund. In a letter to the Legislative Audit Council, Sen. Greg Ryberg, (R-Aiken) listed 20 areas to be explored in the audit of the South Carolina Employment Security Commission, which required $150 million in federal loans last week to pay ballooning unemployment claims.
Source: Morris News Service
Governor, Businesses Protest Lab Decision
Gov. Rick Perry (R) joined business leaders in protesting the decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to select a site in Kansas for a new $450 million federal disease laboratory. Perry and the Texas Bio and Agro-Defense Consortium, a business group, say that even though the site selection process started in January 2006, DHS gave no indication until February 2008 that financial incentives provided by state and local governments could affect the site selection.
Source: Associated Press
State Leads Business Climate Poll
The Evergreen State tops the U.S. News & World Report's list of best state's to start a business. According to the report, Washington has a highly productive manufacturing sector and leads the nation in value added per production hour as a percentage of the national average—the difference in value between inputs in the production process and the value of the units as finally sold. Washington also has very low taxes and does not have income or capital-gains taxes, either personal or corporate.
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Bill Targets Immigrants
State lawmakers are pushing a bill similar to Oklahoma's that makes it a felony to harbor or transport illegal immigrants and denies them public benefits. Wyoming's Legislature rejected a similar bill last year. Supporters of House Bill 103 say they want employers in the state to be careful not to hire illegal immigrants. Some business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Tulsa Metro and Oklahoma State chambers of commerce, have challenged the Oklahoma law in federal court.
Source: Associated Press