Tennessee may not be known as a national hub for science and technology but compared to all other states, it made the most significant strides on that front in 2012, according to a report released this week.
“Tennessee was the biggest gainer, jumping from 41st to 35th,” said a news release from the Milken Institute, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. “The state made major inroads in a number of indicators, most notably, growth in the number of companies receiving venture capital and a huge increase in IPO proceeds.”
The institute’s State Technology and Science Index 2012 is conducted every two years. The index factors distinctive indicators that are categorized into five major components: research and development inputs, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, human capital investment, technology and science work force, and technology concentration and dynamism. Additionally, it tracks and evaluates every state's tech and science capabilities and their success at converting those assets into companies and high-paying jobs.
The top five technology and science states in the index are, in order, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, Colorado and Washington. To view the entire report, go here.
The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association has published a study of the economic reach of automotive suppliers around the country. The country's top five states, it notes alongside IHS researchers, accounted for nearly half of all auto supplier jobs. Part of that group? Tennessee, whose more than 48,000 jobs rank fourth. Check out the full study here.
For the third year in a row, Tennessee’s transportation system ranks as one of the best in the nation, according to CNBC 2012 study “America’s Top States for Business.”
The report notes Tennessee ranks fourth-best in the U.S. in the category of transportation and infrastructure and is the only state topping the list that has no transportation debt.
Relatedly, economic development publication Business Facilities in its annual 2012 “State Rankings Report” has named Tennessee No. 1 in the nation for automotive manufacturing strength, also for a third consecutive year.
As to the CNBC ranking, many states carry transportation debt and must allocate a large portion of their funds to interest payments, the study notes.
“This is significant as we are the only top-ranked state without any transportation debt,” Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer said in a release. “The next state on the list without debt was ranked 19th. Tennessee is a ‘pay as you go’ state and TDOT will continue to do our part in upholding Gov. Haslam’s vision of running an effective and efficient government.”
The CNBC report scored all 50 states on 40 measures of competitiveness, including the vitality of each state’s transportation system. Tennessee also ranked well in the categories of business friendliness and cost of living. This is the sixth year the news network has performed the study.
Regarding the Business Facilities report, Tennessee earned additional top 10 honors for economic growth potential, job growth, business and education climate, transportation infrastructure, data center hubs and Race to the Top.
“Our strategic focus on the automotive sector has yielded a substantial return for Tennessee and created a magnet for growth, as Tennessee’s many strategic advantages make our state the most compelling location for business expansions and relocations in the U.S.,” Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner, said in a release.
The American Legislative Exchange Council — yes, that ALEC — has published the latest version of its state economic outlook rankings, much of which is based on taxation research and advocacy conducted by Nashville-based Laffer Associates. Included in this year's report is a close look at Tennessee's inheritance and gift taxes, our fiscal "Achilles heel."
Tennessee has the second-best cost of living among all 50 states, closely following Kentucky. Daily Finance has the rankings, with a caveat for Middle Tennessee:
Regardless of the rankings, the impact of inflation can be felt across all states. For example, the price of gasoline has jumped with the volatile price of crude oil. Consumers in Nashville, Tenn., have seen gas prices jump 42% since this time last year, while Honolulu residents are paying only 15.3% more for gas than a year ago.
The country's biggest mortgage lenders denied a shade under 30 percent of their Tennessee mortgage applications in 2010, report Nick Timiraos and Maurice Tamman of the Journal. That's a good three percentage points higher than the national average but lower than a number of our neighboring states.
RealtyTrac is out with its first-quarter comparison of the state of foreclosures across the country. The gist when it comes to Tennessee: We're foreclosing fewer homes than many other states but our sellers are having to take bigger haircuts. Only four states average greater foreclosure discounts. Check out all the info here.
Tennessee tracks the national averages pretty closely when it comes to the number of woman-owned businesses and their sales, according to a new report by American Express Open. Since 1997, both of those numbers have risen by about half. Like the nation, those numbers also have grown since the start of the Great Recession.
Where the Volunteer State deviates from the country as a whole is in employment: Businesses here owned by women are using substantially fewer workers to generate their sales. Check out all of Tennessee's numbers here and download the full national report at this link.
The announcement marks the sixth time in the past eight years Tennessee has ranked among the top five states in the country for business climate. Since the start of the Bredesen Administration, more than 190,000 new jobs and more than $33 billion in new capital investment have been recruited by the state.