How do they measure? A combination of tax climate, business costs, economic climate, labor force, and quality of life.
Some of this is a bit tautological. Based on booming business in Montana, this mag is extrapolating that Montana is a place where business will perform well.
Meanwhile, it's worth noting that the Montana Chamber is concerned about a "shortage" of labor. Labor shortages are mythical, at least in the larger sense. Rather, there is sometimes a shortage of qualified labor at the price that capital wants to pay. Tough, that's life.
What Montana is witnessing, though, is a precarious situation where skyrocketing living costs are finally making the "scenery tax" impact both wages and living costs -- and are squeezing out low-income workers (or, in some cases, leading to demands for better compensation).
To a large extent, what we have in Montana for employees isn't so much a wage problem, it's a cost-of-living problem. And now is as good a time as any to start some conversations about making costs more manageable -- whether it is housing, health care, or student debt. Reducing costs in smart ways will make lower wages more liveable and will remove some labor market tightness -- and it will do it in a way that helps employers and employees.