A State-by-state Look at What The Southwest Has to Offer to Businesses (chiefexecutive.net)

Texas (No. 1): Job Creation Leader                                            

Welcome to Texas, Chief Executive’s No. 1 state for Business in 2013. To say the Lone Star state dominates the world of corporate relocation is like saying Dallas gets hot in July. Texas attracts so many migratory chiefs that locals have coined a new term, “Texodus,” to describe the influx.

Texas leads the nation in job creation. With 8 percent of the nation’s population, Texas owns nearly one out of every three high-paying U.S. jobs. Last year, Texas’ real GDP grew by 3.2 percent, to $1.3 trillion, compared with 2.2 percent nationwide. Half of the private-sector jobs created in the U.S. over the past 10 years are here. For 11 consecutive years, you-know-who has led the nation in exports.

Expectations of a lower tax bite in Texas shape the nation’s site selection and corporate relocation patterns. Eliminating both corporate and personal income tax, Texas ranks eighth in lowest tax burden according to the Tax Foundation. (Caution: property taxes are high and franchise tax nibbles some profits.) Texas is home to 52 Fortune 500 companies. With a workforce nearly 13 million strong, the state boasts the second-largest labor pool in the U.S. workers’ compensation? Not required.

Strong clusters feed the state’s major industries: oil and natural gas, defense, information technology, biomedical research, fuel processing, electric power, agriculture and manufacturing. Plus, plenty of universities annually replenish the pool of professional and managerial talent. Add to that business networks and two major international airports, aggressive corporate recruitment and the trend of relocating CEOs and population growth quickly makes sense.

Led by the aggressive efforts of Governor Rick Perry, Texas courts out-of-state employers with the nation’s biggest program of financial incentives, distributing some $19 billion a year, according to a report by The New York Times . Texas rolls out the green welcome mat to a wide range of company sizes, from behemoths like Apple and Samsung to Abadak, a 30-employee tarp and tent manufacturer.

Amid the hoopla around migrating companies, homegrown success stories also abound. “For me, being in the oil and gas business, you really can’t beat Texas,” says Chris Faulkner, chief of Dallas-based Breitling Energy Companies. “This is a state with roots firmly grounded in the oil and gas industry. Our [government] representatives understand what our industry does for our people and our economy and support our industry with rational regulations and fair incentives, unlike some other states that can’t seem to get out of their own way.”

“People come to Texas because it is a meritocracy,” adds former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank chief economist and director of SMU’s O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom Michael Cox, an Arkansas transplant. “We come here because we believe in an environment where we can work and be successful without big-government regulations. I believe the biggest opportunity to do this is right here in Texas.”

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Article Author: Warren Strugatch