HOUSTON — The 2022 version of CNBC's annual "Top States for Business" study ranks Texas as the second worst state to live in the country.
That same study named Texas the fifth best state in the country for business.
But some experts question whether keeping the status quo can keep drawing workers who have more leverage and more mobility than ever.
The team behind the study graded Texas an "F" in the life, health and inclusion category. They found that "skilled workers are still flocking to the state despite longstanding quality of life issues…. But when they arrived, they are finding limited childcare options, a stressed health care system with the highest rate of uninsured, new curbs on voting rights, and few protections against discrimination."
"Everybody has their own way of doing research, and I completely disagree with that," said Texan Eric Fuentas from San Antonio. "If you want to live in a state that has everything, Texas is your state."
"They got a lot of programs for people who (are) not able to afford daycare and things like that, so I’m not sure why that’s listed as well," said Corey Harrison, who recently moved to Texas.
Dietrich von Biedenfeld is a business professor at the University of Houston - Downtown. He says he's not surprised by the study's results.
"Is $800 a month a feasible amount for a young professional to have to pay for childcare, which is around the average rate in the city of Houston?" von Biedenfeld asked.
He says quality of life issues like health care and paid time off are crucial in luring Gen Z and Millennials as older employees retire.
"Just like businesses, Dell, etc., have come to Texas, they can then go somewhere else," von Biedenfeld said.
And a longtime Texas selling point, cheap housing, seems to be getting harder and harder to find.
"Who worse? Who’s before us?" asked Harrison.
"Arizona," said KHOU 11's Adam Bennett.
"Nah. They never lived in Michigan before, huh?" responded Harrison.
On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont were named the three best states to live in.
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