Business

Raleigh Tops Forbes' List of Business, Career Areas

Posted April 5, 2007 8:20 p.m. EDT
Updated April 5, 2007 8:23 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh may be at a lower latitude than several metropolitan areas in the country, but the city is sitting on top of the world, according to Forbes magazine.

The widely regarded business publication Thursday listed Raleigh as the top U.S. metro area for business and careers. It listed Durham as No. 7, and seven other Tar Heel towns were in the top 200 list.

The Southeast, Forbes’ Kurt Badenhausen wrote, is one part of the nation that “consistently manages to produce strong economic growth and still keep costs down.” The article appeared on Forbes.com, the magazine's Web site.

Forbes used several criteria in making up the list, where Raleigh had been first runner-up for three years.

The data included indexes of business and living costs, five-year numbers on job and income growth, migration trends, the education of the work force in each metro area and other information such as crime rates and cultural opportunities, Forbes said.

“Raleigh's economy has expanded 6 percent annually over the past three years. Helping to fuel this growth are business costs that are 13 percent below the national average and a labor force where 38 percent have a college degree—the 12th-highest percentage in the country,” Badenhausen wrote.

Overall, Forbes ranked 200 large metropolitan areas.

North Carolina cities on the list in addition to Raleigh and Durham were Charlotte (21st), Asheville (23rd) and Winston-Salem (24th), Wilmington (38th), Greensboro (61st), Fayetteville (105th) and Hickory (167th).

“With the top business climate in the nation, it is no surprise that North Carolina is home to nine of the country’s top 200 places for business and careers,” Gov. Mike Easley said. “Business leaders know they can get highly skilled employees in North Carolina and employees know there is plenty for their families to enjoy from the mountains to the coast.”