(The Center Square) – North Carolina ranks 10th among U.S. states for economic freedom, according to recent analysis by the Fraser Institute.
Fraser Institute North American Economic Freedom Report measured 10 variables related to government spending, taxation and labor market regulation in the 50 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 32 Mexican states based on 2019 data.
Economic freedom is the “ability of individuals to act in the economic sphere without undue restrictions”, according to the authors of the report. North Carolina scored 7.11 out of 10 for its overall economic freedom, advancing one place from last year when it was 11th.
North Carolina’s best score was 7.6 out of 10 for labor market freedom, making it the sixth freest labor market in the United States, according to Fraser.
One of the main contributing factors was the state’s minimum hourly wage of $ 7.25 per hour, which was the same as the 2019 federal minimum, said Brooke Medina, vice president of communications for the market think tank. Free Raleigh-based John Locke Foundation.
“By resisting calls to raise the state’s minimum wage, North Carolina has stayed away from new entrants to the workforce who would effectively be excluded from the workforce,” Medina said in a statement. hurry.
Being a state that grants the right to work also gives workers more flexibility to negotiate their own wages, Medina said.
Fraser ranked the state 18th for taxation with a score of 6.49 out of 10. North Carolina had the highest tax rate of 5.25% in 2019. According to the Tax Foundation, its charge national and local tax rate of 9.8% places it 18th among other states. Tax changes sign enacted this month could improve the state’s ranking in the future.
North Carolina’s worst score was on government spending, but it still fared better than most states. The state was 19th for its government spending, with a score of 7.25 out of 10.
“Our state government has restrained spending, which has allowed us to pay down $ 2.75 billion in federal unemployment debt and create a multibillion-dollar ‘rainy day fund’ for us. help weather economic storms, ”Medina said.
New Hampshire was the most economically free state, followed by Tennessee and Florida, according to the report. New York was ranked last, behind Vermont and California.