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

Posted February 16, 2007 6:15 p.m. EST
Updated February 17, 2007 3:57 p.m. EST

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.