Ala. receives high ranks as "top places to do business" - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ala. receives high ranks as "top places to do business"

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(WTVM) -

For the fourth year in a row the state of Alabama has made high marks when it comes to industry.

Alabama ranks fourth in the nation according to the "2013 Top States for Doing Business" published by Area Development Magazine.

"I think it's a wonderful recognition and I think Opelika is contributing to that number because we've had so many expansions lately," explains Opelika Chamber of Commerce President, Barbara Patton.

Alabama also ranks as a top-five state in 15 specific economic development categories including number one in competitive labor costs and number two in right-to-work environment.

"In Auburn we feel like we're top five too in the state ourselves and have been recognized several times recently. I think a lot of it is contributed to the competitiveness of the state and the competitiveness of the community," says Lolly Steiner, President of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce.

Locally, both Auburn and Opelika have had their share of announcements of new industries coming to town as well as existing businesses expanding, factors experts believe contributed to this rating.

"Not only do we have new industries coming to  Auburn and new business, but most of our existing industry are in some sort of growth mode right now which is exciting because that means not only do we bring good industries here, but they've been sustainable," explains Steiner.

Auburn-Opelika has the lowest unemployment rate in Alabama's metropolitan areas at 5.5 percent.

In addition, many jobs are for skilled employees that are highly paid. 

"A lot of job opportunity, a lot more diversity of job opportunities and I think you see it without downtown expansions, industry expansions and new business location here whether they're are large or small," says Patton.

A full review of this year's Top States for Doing Business can be found at www.areadevelopment.com/Top-States-for-Doing-Business.

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