Iowa is the 12th best state for business in 2014, according to a ranking byCNBC on 56 measures of competitiveness, divided into 10 broad categories. Iowa scored especially well at No. 7 in cost of doing business, and earned a No. 9 ranking in business friendliness. "An inexpensive place with a friendly regulatory climate, Iowa ranks well annually. But the state's workforce is less than a bumper crop, with a shortage of skilled labor," the report said.