Best City in U.S. for Jobs? It’s Raleigh-Cary, Says Forbes Magazine

Posted February 16, 2007
Updated February 17, 2007

RALEIGH, N.C. - Raleigh-Cary is the hottest metropolitan area for jobs in the United States, says Forbes magazine in its annual survey of the top 100 cities.

Raleigh-Cary vaulted to first from seventh in the 2006 list, which was announced on Friday.

The area scored best in job growth rank, 10th, and income growth rank, 12th, in five separate statistical surveys that made up the survey.

“Raleigh, N.C., topped our list this year,” wrote Hannah Clark in the Forbes report. “The city has low unemployment, strong income and job growth, and high incomes--yet it still maintains a relatively low cost of living. Raleigh is part of the "research triangle," including Durham and Chapel Hill. Three major universities - Duke, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University - make their homes in the area. The result: A city with good weather, a relatively low cost of living and a highly educated population.”

"There isn't much of a negative in Raleigh," Steven Cochrane, an economist with Moody's, told Forbes. "It has a lot of the amenities of Florida, except not the hurricanes."

The unemployment rate in Raleigh-Cary was under 4 percent in December, according to the latest figures from the N.C. Employment Security Commission.

Raleigh-Cary scored a total of 110 points, 11 better than second-place Phoenix.

The capital area finished 13th in unemployment, 30th in median household income. However, its cost of living was high – 45th.

The data in those five categories was compiled by Moody’s The 100 largest metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau were included. Each statistical category was weighted equally, according to Forbes.

Also making the top 100 from North Carolina were Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord and Greensboro-High Point. However, the Charlotte area fell four places from 2006 to 36th place. Greensboro-High Point fell to 89th from 85th.

Atlanta, meanwhile, vaulted to 22nd from 42nd. Columbia, S.C. climbed to 50th from 63rd, and Greenville-Spartnburg jumped to 68th from 91st.

For the complete report, visit the Forbes Web site.

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  • hollywood Feb 18, 2007

    To you guys that are over 50 and have no education...there is still no hope for you (even here). No one wants you so quit crying. Keep trying for that job at Wendys and if not....the homeless shelter is on Wilmington St!

  • satanhimself Feb 17, 2007

    Purple, you are absolutely correct. I lived in your area in 1985-87, having moved there because of all the hype about how it was the best place to live and about all of the jobs. Well, my wife, who is in the medical field, got a job easily, but as for me, the job situation was pathetic--it was basically retail or clerical at very low wages. The local underground newspaper (can't recall the name) in the area did a special report about the massive underemployment, especially when couples move to the area because one spouse gets a job offer there. Often the other spouse never gets decent employment. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chambers of Commerce of the area arrange to get this kind of job hype so that there will be an influx of people, an oversupply of labor, and therefore, low wages...think about it. Since my license plate said "First in Flight" at the top, I got a vanity plate reading "LASTNPAY". Got lots of thumbs-up on the road! I guess nothing's changed in 20 yrs.

  • intelligentcitizen Feb 17, 2007

    Some are glass half full people. Some are glass half empty. Others seem sure that the glass is poisoned.

    Less whining & more (a) job seeking, (b) skills improving, (c) refusing to work something that is *ahem* beneath you, etc. etc. is all that is needed the majority of the time.

  • Purple Feb 17, 2007

    "If you can't find employment in the #1 ranked City, it is no ones fault but your own."

    I'm sure the thousands of people who have been looking diligently for work, or the thousands more who used to make 3 times as much in RTP but are now having to work at Home Depot because it is all they could get, really appreciate that remark.

    No one talks about "under-employment". This area is full of people who used to be engineers and project managers who are now working in manufacturing plants and retail jobs because its all they could find. The Triangle is not the heaven-on-earth job market that Forbes magazine makes it out to be... it seems as if everyone makes a huge salary ($70k+) or barely gets by (

  • RedStatesManWatts Feb 17, 2007

    Good! That gives me hope in my employment search! It's been 20 years since I have had to look for a job and it isn't easy out there but this is good news!

  • What Feb 17, 2007

    Unemployment is only based on who is receivng compensation for being unemployed. Everyone else who is not receiving unemployment compensation but are looking for jobs are not accounted for in the statistics. Unemployment is a very flawed statistic. The rate is always higher than what they report.

  • lishaxlisha Feb 17, 2007

    Well I'm now living in Roanoke Rapids NC, and I have applied for a couple of jobs recently in the Raleigh area. Hopefully I will get hired and then relocate there. So yes, population will grow cause if I get a job in Raleigh, here come two more residents to add on the list. ME AND MY DAUGHTER!!! YAY!!!

  • Lit Feb 17, 2007

    Growth is long as city planners are doing their job to insure that city growth is properly planned with population growth. Of course there will be infrastructural challenges in the future, but a growing city is much better than a shrinking city.

  • owlady Feb 17, 2007

    It goes to show by these negative posts, that negative people do not get very far in this world. Don't blame, Be positive, work hard, respect others and the law, and you will be able to find and keep good employment anywhere you live. If you can't find employment in the #1 ranked City, it is no ones fault but your own.

  • redant Feb 17, 2007

    Oh quit whining about the yankee transplants People with education and training will come here for the jobs that we don't train and educate ourselves and our children to do. The ignorant who refuse to gain adequate skills to compete in the 21st century have no one to blame but themselves for their dismal emplolyment opportunities.