Nation’s CEOs Rank Illinois Among Worst States For Business

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois is one of the worst states in the nation to do business, according to a new survey of 500 chief executive officers.

Chief Executive magazine surveyed more than 500 chief executive officers across the country, who graded states in areas such as tax and regulatory regime, the quality of the workforce and the quality of the living environment.

“The anti-growth hot mess can only coast on Chicago’s economic engine for so long,” the magazine concluded. Indeed, Mayor Emanuel has been touting job growth–especially in the tech sector–as a top priority in his administration.

Overall, Illinois ranked No. 48 in the survey, getting only one out of five stars for taxes and regulations, 2.5 stars for living environment and 3 stars for workforce quality.

“Corruption and union pensions have made Illinois a poor alternative for business,” on CEO said. “Continually avoiding to address and fix the problems have only exacerbated the situation.”

“Illinois is a horrendous state in which to do business,” one CEO said in the survey. “It is governed by a class of incompetent, corrupt politicians. It’s like doing business in a third-world country.”

The state’s 1.9 percent growth in 2012 Gross Domestic Product, lagged behind the national average of 2.5 percent, the magazine found.

The state’s unemployment rate is the second worst in the county. In March, 8.4 percent of the workforce was out of a job, which was a five-year low. Still, it’s well above the national rate of 6.7 percent.

The magazine put the state’s tax burden at 10.2 percent, also above the national average of 9.9 percent.

Also, the state’s debt, per person, stands at $5,509.

Compare those numbers to Texas, which ranked No. 1 in the survey: 4.8 percent growth in GDP; unemployment at 6 percent; per capita debt $1,344 and tax burden 7.9 percent.

Indiana, which has waged a campaign to lure business from Illinois in recent years, ranked as the sixth-best state in the survey.

Only New York and California were rated worse than Illinois.