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Arizona on rise, ranked as 20th-best state for business by CNBC

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PHOENIX — Arizona is on the rise for business, according to CNBC’s annual state rankings.

The Grand Canyon state was tied for 20th in the cable station’s 2018 report, up from 26th a year ago.

“We’re one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. … We’ve created over 160,000 private-sector jobs in the last three years and had 300 companies relocate to Arizona,” Gov. Doug Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

“We’ve got a momentum that’s building on itself.”

The study rated each state in 60 measures of competitiveness, separated into 10 categories. Arizona was among the top 20 for six of the categories.

Arizona, which was tied overall with South Dakota, got its best mark for “workforce,” coming in eighth.

Workforce took into account measures such as availability of employees, education levels, concentration of STEM workers and productivity. It was the category carrying the most weight in CNBC’s formula.

“We’ve got workers across the board. We’ve got people that are trying to frame houses and hand dry wall, and they’re trying to hire people for those kind of entry-level positions,” Ducey said.

“But we also have mechanical and civil and software engineers at the highest level and the highest skill sets and educational attainment, and our tech companies are trying to fill those positions.”

However, Arizona was lagging in education, tying for 48th with Oklahoma and ahead of only Nevada.

Texas was No. 1 in the overall rankings, followed by Washington and Utah.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Martha Maurer contributed to this report.

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