CNBC: And the Lights All Went Up in Massachusetts?

CNBC has begun its annual presentation of Top States for Business, with the winner to be announced at 4:30 p.m. today Eastern. It’s the third annual rating of the states put together by reporter Scott Cohn, and it has been one of the better of these kind of exercises, taking numerous categories into account, including many suggested by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Here’s the big surprise so far: Massachusetts, No. 5:

The state only made the top ten one other year (2009) and until then had only finished as high as 15 (2008).

In piling up 1375 points this year, Massachusetts finished No. 5. It was first in one category, second in another and third in yet one more. The state also just missed the top five in a fourth individual category.

Massachusetts was one of just two states to post five top-ten showings. Categories included Access to Capital and Quality of Life.

On the negative side, the state finished near the bottom ten in two categories, similar to its 2009 showing.

North Carolina is No. 4.

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