Minnesota ranked 7th best state for business

Minnesota's open, but not as open as Virginia.

Minnesota's open, but not as open as Virginia.

Minnesota is the 7th best state in the country for business, according to a newly released list.

The number seven spot, awarded by CNBC, comes thanks to high marks for education and quality of life. But CNBC punishes Minnesota for high taxes, union membership and the massive budget deficit.

At 7th-best, Minnesota is the highest-ranked state in the Midwest. The best states in the country for business are all below the Mason-Dixon Line, according to the study. Virginia ranked number 1, followed by Texas, North Carolina and Georgia. Virginia and Texas have traded the top two spots for the last five years.

Minnesota's not ranked in the top five in any category, and in some categories it's surprisingly low, considering the overall high mark.

In the "workforce" category, Minnesota came in a dismal 36th. The state has lots of college-educated workers, but probably took a knock for the high percentage of union membership.

"While organized labor contends that a union workforce is a quality workforce, that argument, more often than not, doesn't resonate with business," CNBC explains.

Minnesota might've cracked the top five overall if state's finances were in order. In 2010, CNBC ranked Minnesota fifth in the country for "economy." This year, Minnesota's economy is 27th, just ahead of that bustling paradise, Louisiana.