New Hampshire’s overall business climate has drastically improved in the past 12 months and now ranks highest in New England, according to a new report from Chief Executive magazine.

“The Granite State performed well in the 2018 Chief Executive ‘Best States / Worst States for Business’ by climbing seven spots in the rankings from a year earlier, to No. 24, the best showing by far among the New England states,” the magazine reports.

Chief Executive evaluates each state based on taxation/regulation, workforce quality and living environment. Their analysis ranked the Granite State as having the 3rd best living environment in the country, along with the 17th best workforce and 25th best tax and regulation environment.

“I am proud that through our pro-growth initiatives, more people are working in New Hampshire today than at any other point in history. A strong, thriving workforce is necessary for our broader goals to boost economic development…. We’re all about the economy, and it’s working.” —Gov. Chris Sununu

The news, however, is not all good. While moving from 31st to 24th is pro-business progress, it still puts New Hampshire near the middle of the pack, nowhere close to pro-business havens like Texas, Florida or Indiana.

And it was Rhode Island, not New Hampshire, that enjoyed the biggest leap in this year’s rankings– from 42nd to 32nd. Why can’t “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire climb higher?

One hindrance to economic growth in New Hampshire continues to be high energy prices, where residents pay the fifth-highest retail electricity rates in the country. 

And yet, despite warnings from business owners that energy costs are endangering the job market, New Hampshire legislators continue to promote policies that drive prices higher.

Compared to Massachusetts (45th) and Connecticut (46th), the Granite State looks like a great place to do business in New England. Unfortunately for Gov. Sununu and the legislature, they have to compete for employers with all 50 states.