RALEIGH – Forbes magazine has ranked North Carolina as third of “Best States for Business in America,” according to the governor’s office, improving the state’s 2009 ranking of fifth.

In a news release, Gov. Beverly Perdue’s office also said recent statistics from the Federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics show North Carolina is third best among the 50 states for declining unemployment and fourth for job creation.

In the Forbes rankings, North Carolina scored third in Business Costs and Regulatory Environment and ninth in Growth Prospect. Forbes scored the states on six measures: business cost, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospect and quality of life.

The Forbes ranking can be seen at www.forbes.com/business.