Arizona fell 18 places, the most of any state, in the Forbes magazine rankings of the best states for business. Arizona was 18th in the 2006 but only 36th in the results put out last week. According to the article, "A common theme with our top-ranked states is an expanding, educated workforce."
Forbes measures 6 areas - costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life. They use 33 factors to determine the rankings in the 6 areas.
Arizona did best in Economic Climate (7th) and worst in Quality of Life (47th). The Quality of Life rank comes from an "index of schools, health, crime, cost of living, and poverty rates."
Our second strength, the labor rank, is based on educational attainment, net migration, and projected population growth. A worsening employment and economic forecast for Arizona was highlighted as the root of our big drop.