Forbes ranks Wis. as one of the worst states for business

Published On: Dec 18 2012 06:32:58 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 18 2012 07:10:10 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Forbes Magazine ranks Wisconsin as one of the worst states in the country to do business.

Wisconsin ranks 42nd on Forbes' annual list of the Best States for Business, which is worse than last year, when it was ranked 40th.

One of the biggest measures weighing the state down is job growth.

Gov. Scott Walker has made job growth a cornerstone of his campaign, pledging to create 250,000 jobs by 2015.

According to Forbes Magazine, that promise doesn't look so promising.

Forbes' latest ranking of the Best States for Business said Wisconsin has had slightly negative job growth this year and projects that job growth will be second-worst in the nation through 2016.

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"We had protests, and recalls and another wave of recalls. We've had national challenges with the economy, most recently with the fiscal cliff. All those are reasons to make excuses. But in the end, the reason we picked 250,000 jobs as a goal is because we wanted 250,000 more families to have someone in their household who was earning a living, helping those families, helping improve the quality of life in this state," said Walker at a stop in La Crosse Tuesday.

Wisconsin ranking as No. 42 is based on six factors. It’s ranked 35th in business costs, 39th in labor supply, 30th in regulatory environment, 29th in economic climate, 43rd in growth prospects and 10th in quality of life.

Wisconsin doesn't do this badly on some other publications' business climate rankings. Chief Executive Magazine ranked Wisconsin as No. 20 and CNBC said we're No. 17.

Walker chalks it up to the fact that different rankings are calculated with different measurements.

"They put a disproportionately higher than other rankings emphasis on workforce development. It's an area we believe there is a need on. We don't discount that,” said Walker. “It's one of our priorities in trying to improve the connection between people looking for work and the skills they need."

Walker said he'd like to use some of the state's budget surplus to expand job opportunities, which could include investing in workforce development, creating a fund that could be tapped into by entrepreneurs looking to buy capital or doing more for property tax relief.

Forbes ranked Utah as the best state for business on this year's list. Maine ranked as the worst.