Top 5 states for business in 2012

These five states were the best places to do business in 2012, a year where states' financial fortunes finally saw improvement. Can you guess which state was number one?

By , CNBC Senior Correspondent

4. North Carolina

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    North Carolina Gov. Beverly Purdue, right, speaks during the Siemens Charlotte gas turbine plant opening last November in Charlotte, NC. North Carolina is a perennial contender in the Top States for Business race, thanks to a well-educated workforce.
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Fourth-ranked North Carolina is often a contender, thanks in large part to its well-educated workforce. This year, more of those workers are available. It’s a silver lining to a jobs crisis that has disproportionately affected the Tarheel State, where unemployment is considerably higher than the national average. North Carolina slipped one spot from a number three ranking in 2011.

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