Unemployed graduates can no longer blame the state of North Carolina for their lack of job offers.

North Carolina is the third best state for business, according to CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business published today. Virginia was ranked first, followed by Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah, Iowa and Nebraska in the top 10.

North Carolina's rankings in each of the 10 subcategories were: cost of business (9), workforce (3), quality of life (33), economy (41), infrastructure and transportation (3), technology and innovation (12), education (18), business friendliness (11), access to capital (11) and cost of living (22).

Notable changes from last year’s rankings for North Carolina include a significant improvement in cost of business, transportation and education and a minor drop in economy.

After falling to number 10 in the overall rankings in 2009, North Carolina now seems to be rising, ranking fourth last year and third this year.

North Carolina also seems to score highly in other business rankings. In March, the state was also ranked second by Chief Executive Magazine, which based its rankings on slightly different criteria—taxation and regulation, workforce quality and living environment.

Perhaps these high rankings are due in part to the Research Triangle of Duke, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. Fifteen Fortune 500 companies are also based in the state—Bank of America Corporation, Lowe’s, Nucor, Duke Energy, BB&T Corporation, Progress Energy, Reynolds American, Family Dollar Stores, VF, Goodrich, Sonic Automotive, Pantry, Laboratory Corporation of America, SPX and Ruddick.