Youngkin, Sears, Miyares Release Assessment of Virginia’s Economy

July 14, 2021

“The status quo is failing Virginia families and workers”

FALLS CHURCH, VA – Republican nominee for governor Glenn Youngkin, Republican nominee for lieutenant governor Winsome Sears, and Republican nominee for attorney general Jason Miyares released the following assessment and statements today regarding Virginia’s economy following CNBC’s report. While business accolades are good for the Commonwealth, Virginia is not performing like the top state for business, and disappointingly, Virginia ranks among the worst states for cost of living (#32) and cost of doing business (#26), and in the middle of the country for infrastructure (#24).

Youngkin’s top priority is making Virginia the best place in America to live and work and raise a family, and as governor he will be laser focused on delivering real results for all Virginians.

“The status quo is failing Virginia families and workers,” said Youngkin, Sears, and Miyares. “Under Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam, our Commonwealth has fallen behind our competitor states and is growing slower and providing fewer opportunities. That may be acceptable to our opponents, but we think Virginians deserve better. If we are given the privilege of serving Virginia, we will wake up every day focused on improving the lives of everyone who calls our Commonwealth home and making sure they are empowered to earn a bigger paycheck, work hard, get ahead, and pursue their dreams. By working together, we can and will bring a brighter day to Virginia.”

Youngkin spoke with reporters in Richmond Tuesday, telling NBC 12, “Unfortunately, Virginia hasn’t performed like the number one state to do business in, and we’ve watched our cost of living and our cost of doing business be ranked literally in the bottom half.”

This is the reality in Virginia:

  • There are roughly 200,000 fewer Virginians in the workforce than there were in March 2020.
  • Virginia’s labor force participation rate is at the lowest level in recorded history.
  • While Terry McAuliffe brags about Virginia adding 200,000 jobs when he was governor, if Virginia had grown as fast as our competitor states during that time, Virginia would have added 380,000 jobs.
  • While Terry McAuliffe was governor, states such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Colorado added 200,000 or more jobs, North Carolina added 350,000 jobs, and competitor states such as Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina grew at least 90% faster during that time.
  • In terms of economic growth, since McAuliffe became governor, Virginia’s GDP has grown slower than its competitor states, including Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas.
  • Since McAuliffe became governor, Virginia has had negligible net firm formation, adding less than 4,000 firms. Competitor states on average grew at a rate greater than twice Virginia’s.
  • Virginia’s cost of living is higher than the national average, and higher than competitor states North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas, according to Council for Community and Economic Research.
  • People are voting with their feet. Over the last few years, more Virginians are moving away from Virginia than are moving to Virginia from the other 49 states.

Even by CNBC’s flawed 2021 methodology,  North Carolina bested Virginia in 7 out of 10 categories, including on the economy, business friendliness, and cost of living.  

By a large margin, Virginia did outpace the top six states in CNBC’s brand-new category that prizes the McAuliffe-Northam critical race theory agenda and penalizes states that require a photo ID to vote:


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