Rich LowryThe Rich Lowry Column
June 28, 2013
The 2013 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, an in-depth analysis from Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), grades all 50 states on factors that impact success.
West Virginia received the following grades: Manufacturing: C; Logistics: C; Human Capital: F; Worker Benefit Costs: D-; Tax Climate: C; Expected Liability Gap: F; Global Reach: B; Sector Diversification: C- and Productivity and Innovation: D.
“West Virginia continues to struggle with very low human capital scores, receiving a well-deserved F due to low levels of educational attainment,” says Ball State’s Michael Hicks, CBER director and former economist at Marshall University. “The secondary effect of this on West Virginia is high fringe benefit costs, due primarily to health care costs. The fiscal environment remains difficult.”
“While the tax climate performed better than most, West Virginia’s unfunded liabilities, most especially in pensions, plagues the long term health of the state’s fiscal environment,” he says. “Gov. Tomblin’s focus on these issues is especially timely and critical to the state’s future. It is rare to see such a clearly focused statement on fiscal, workforce and business climate from a governor of any state.“
The continued expansion of the nation’s manufacturing sector continues to be one of the bright spots for the recovery. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been enough to drag the entire economy into a full blown recovery, Hicks says.
CBER prepared the report at the request of Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing initiative. It is available at http://cms.bsu.edu/academics/centersandinstitutes/bbr/currentstudiesandpublications
For more information, contact Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-716-3625.