Missouri takes top spot for manufacturing.

Position:News & analysis

Despite recent cutbacks in numerous plants, Missouri has been ranked the No. 1 state for manufacturing in the country.

Compiled by Ball State University, the 2008 National Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card ranked all 50 states in 19 categories, including property taxes, sales taxes, crime and percentage of the population with college degrees. The report card placed Missouri at the top for low long-term health-care costs, health-care premiums and property taxes.

"Missouri's ranking came as a bit of a surprise to me," said Michael Hicks, Ball State associate professor of economics, who also is director of the university's Bureau of Business Research. "Other business rankings did not have Missouri near the top, and the state does not currently enjoy a high proportion of its economy in manufacturing. But after carefully selecting variables that accounted for the factors associated with manufacturing job growth, Missouri came out on top."

Missouri was one of six states to earn an "A" in the Ball State study.

Utah, Florida, Alabama and North Dakota rounded out the five best states in the country for manufacturing and logistics. New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, and...

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