Site Selection magazine names Georgia No. 1 state for business for sixth consecutive year

Nathan Deal

Georgia is No. 1. Again.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday that Site Selection magazine has named Georgia the top place in the nation to do business for the sixth year in a row. It’s an announcement that has become old hat for the governor as he has made it annually for most of his eight years in the state’s highest office.

“For six years now, Georgia’s business climate has been ranked No. 1 in the nation, as people from all over the country have come to our communities to find opportunity, jobs, hope and prosperity,” Deal said in a statement. “Earning this distinction six consecutive times speaks to the immense strength of our business-friendly environment and the value of the strategic investments we’ve made across our state.”

The governor’s office said the state’s unemployment rate of 3.7 percent is the lowest it has been since 2001 and that about 750,000 new jobs have been created in the state’s private sector over the last eight years. The jobs figure includes 2,500 jobs that were announced last month, according to Deal’s office.

The number of exports going out of Georgia has also increased by 28.8 percent since 2010, according to the governor’s office.

“Today’s announcement is the result of exceptional collaboration between public and private sector partners who create economic opportunities in Georgia’s communities, as well as conservative policies that attract more and more business to our state each year,” Deal said.

But Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said Deal, who is leaving office when his term ends in January, and the state legislature also deserve credit for the state landing on top of Site Selection’s list each year.

“The last eight years have been unprecedented for our state in terms of economic development from job creation to located projects and investment,” Wilson said in a statement. “We celebrate this accolade with all of our economic development partners across the state who have played an important role in helping Georgia earn and maintain this ranking.”