What recession? Raleigh, Durham top Forbes list

Posted March 27, 2009

— The recession could be a lot worse for people in the Triangle than it is, according to Forbes magazine.

In its annual Best Places for Business and Careers rankings, Forbes said no metro area in the U.S. can compare to Raleigh. It was the third year in a row that Raleigh topped the list.

Durham was ranked No. 3 on the Forbes list – Fort Collins, Colo., was second – and Greenville finished second behind Sioux Falls, S.D., on the list of best small metro areas.

The magazine cited the Triangle's strong job growth – both past and projected – low business costs and highly educated work force.

The region's unemployment rate jumped to 7.9 percent in January, losing 12.200 jobs, and IBM laid off several hundred workers in Research Triangle Park on Thursday.

Forbes said the number of jobless will likely continue to grow this year after five years of 4 percent annual job growth. The employment picture is expected to brighten in 2010 and 2011, however, and Moody's projects a three-year annual employment gain of 1.4 percent, which would be the 15th-best in the country.

"Raleigh is holding up better than any other place in North Carolina," Matthew Martin, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., told the magazine.

North Carolina placed six metros among the top 20 on Forbes' list. Asheville finished sixth, Wilmington was 13th, Winston-Salem was 18th and Charlotte was 19th.


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  • lbl3373 Mar 27, 2009

    I havent been able to find a job in my field and I have been looking for almost a year (a year in May) and I have a Masters and work experience. I cant imagine what it is like for people with lesser skills. I have gone from $50K job in Texas (husband got transfered here last May) to making $16.00 an hour as a temp for the state. Talk about humility and swallowing ones pride.

  • foetine Mar 27, 2009

    the unemployment numbers are set so that there are people who are still out of a job and not drawing unemployment checks. Think of how many hourly folks have been shown the door that don't receive those checks. Same with people who haven't been able to find a job in their field for over a year. I know quite a few folks who are sub teaching while they keep sending out resumes. All they can find are jobs that offer zero benefits, no health insurance and 100% commission.

  • trunkmonkee1971 Mar 27, 2009


  • grayboomerang Mar 27, 2009

    People flooding here isn't necessarily a bad thing folks. That will boost the economy, not hurt it. The town who are losing people are in far worse shape than what we are.

    I am so thankful that we haven't been hit as hard as some places.

  • ThisIsMyName Mar 27, 2009

    I like living in South Durham, very close to work now and have the best neighbors I've had so far.

  • ncwebguy Mar 27, 2009

    As "bad" as things are here, every other place would love to have our "problems".

    Schools are overcrowded because the anti-school crowd defeated the bond that would have kept up with growth. This led to the anti-schoolers worst nightmare, year round. No-schoolers want an uneducated population to drive down wages for their servants *and* low taxes to afford sending their precious snowflakes to exclusive, single-race, upper-income-only schools. Good for them, bad for everyone else. But who cares about the lower 90%? Raleigh is "best" for the top 10%ers.

    For all the Bull City lovers and haters, here is a helpful guide/translator.
    South Durham = Cary/Apex.
    Central Durham = Duke and the seven dwarf thugs. The areas Duke touches -- campus, 9th Street, downtown (they have a lot of space in AmTobacco, etc.), West Village, DPAC, etc. is nice and builds an invisible fence to keep the rest (eastside, Northgate) out.
    North Durham = Wake Forest, Louisburg. Farm land and 'burbs.

  • donnied1952 Mar 27, 2009

    Just another political shell game for WRAL. 1 out of 9 people are out of work and what a great place to live all on the same page of their web site. Where's the editor of this site, taking a nap?

  • myrtlebeachrock Mar 27, 2009

    Raleigh is number 1 and Greenville is number 2 for small metros. I live in Wilson, right in the middle and look at it, it's the armpit of NC. One of the state's highest unemploymnet rates, lowest incomes, and highest taxes in NC.

    This county is so crooked it is unreal. It's like living in Hazzard County with Boss Hogg controlling every thing, except you don't have Bo or Luke coming to the rescue and you sure don't have any one who looks like cousin Daisy here! That's for sure.

    A few companies like Bridgestone control what industries come here and the county and city employees make 10 times as much as they do in other counties like Pitt and Wake.

    But we do have good bbq here!

    Greenville and Raleigh are good towns, there is some opprotunity there unlike Wilson.

  • Ready2Taxi Mar 27, 2009

    Oh, great, wonderful. We're already the U-Haul Drop-off Capitol of the Country. Hey, will the last person out of [Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, NY, Texas, Florida, Arizona, California, etc] please turn off the lights? SAVE THE WATTS!

  • KermitDFrog Mar 27, 2009

    I hope the "new jobs" created are not at the new Big-Box-Mart.