North Carolina once again makes Forbes' list as the fourth best state in the country to do business -- the same ranking that it had last year.
It follows Virginia, North Dakota and Utah.
North Carolina is ranked as second in business costs, third in regulatory environment, 7th in labor supply, 9th in growth prospects 26th in economic climate and 32nd in quality of life.
"With one of the highest net migration rates in the U.S. people have been flocking to North Carolina for the past decade," Forbes writes. "They have been chasing jobs, but the unemployment rate is still at 8.9 percent after being stuck above 10 percent for most of 2009 through 2011.''
The article notes that North Carolina has the least unionized work force in the nation.''
As for North Carolina's neighbors, Georgia had the 10th best business climate, Tennessee was ranked 15th and South Carolina 28th. Florida was ranked 22nd, Alabama was ranked 44th and Mississippi was ranked 49th.
North Carolina's business competitiveness has become a major political issue as the legislature has cut taxes and regulations in an effort to improve the state's competitiveness.
Business costs incorporate Moody's Analytics cost of doing business index which include labor, energy and taxes. Labor supply measures college an high school attainment based on figures from the Census Bureau. Regulatory environment includes metrics influenced by the government such as labor regulations, health-insurance coverage mandates, occupational licensing. Economic climate measures job, income and gross state product growth as well as average unemployment during the past years.
Growth prospects measures job, income and gross state product growth forecasts over the next five years from Moody's Analytics. And quality of ice takes into account poverty rates, crime rates, cost of living , school tea performance, health, and culture and recreation opportunities.