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Job Market in Raleigh NC Ranks High in the Nation

What’s the job market in Raleigh, NC like?

It sounds a bit like a chicken or the egg question, but a lot of cities across the country need skilled workers to attract top businesses, but at the same time need a healthy employment base to attract top-quality talent.

How do you do both?

Economic growth goes hand in hand with having the ability to attract both good employers and workers with the kind of skills needed to fill the jobs being created. Some cities just naturally seem to be able to do both with ease, and the Raleigh-Durham area is a great example of that.

In fact, Raleigh has for several years been cited as one of the best cities in the country for both businesses and business growth, and for careers. That’s helped make the area a magnet for newcomers looking for good job opportunities, and it’s provided a boost to the local housing market as well, bringing more and more prospective buyers to the area.

The job market in Raleigh, NC has a very positive outlook. Raleigh seems to have mastered the art of balancing the needs of employers with the needs of workers.

Why is the Job Market in Raleigh, NC Ranked so High?

job market in raleigh nc

North Carolina recently landed four of its cities in the top 15 on Forbes’ 2018 “Best Places For Business And Careers” list, and it was Raleigh that ranked highest of the four and was singled out by the business publication as “the most consistent performer” in the past 16 years.

The study looked at 14 metrics related to jobs, economic growth, cost of living and education to assess business climates in the nation’s 200 largest metropolitan areas. Raleigh ranked No. 2 on the list for the third year in a row, with only Seattle doing better.

Forbes has singled out Raleigh for praise, noting that the city excels by having a strong economy and well-educated workforce. At the same time, Forbes noted, Raleigh’s business costs are 14% below the national average. Durham ranked No. 13 in the study.

It helps that Raleigh is in North Carolina, a state cited by Forbes for having the best business climate in the U.S. The Tar Heel State was also the top state for Business ranking for the second straight year, thanks to labor, energy and tax costs that are below the national average. That includes a corporate tax rate of just 3 percent, the lowest in the country.

Forbes also noted that North Carolina has something else that top businesses are eagerly looking for: a highly educated labor force. North Carolina is home to 53 colleges and universities that help produce those skilled workers, and that includes elite schools like Duke University and the University of North Carolina.

And with those universities turning out top students, North Carolina’s job growth is projected to rank among the strongest in the nation over the next five years.

One of the keys to Raleigh’s long-term success has been Research Triangle Park, which has been a magnet for technology entrepreneurs. Research Triangle Park has become a well-established biotechnology hub. That’s why it attracted AveXis, a gene therapy firm that is now establishing a manufacturing center there that will create 200 new jobs, further enhancing Raleigh’s reputation as the state’s leading biotech and life sciences sector.

Overall, Raleigh has seen a 12.8 percent increase in the number of businesses that created between 2011 and 2016, and a 20.6 percent increase in the number of paid employees.

Raleigh is succeeding because the city has the ideal combination of a strong economy and an educated workforce, which tends to consistently get repopulated by universities like Duke and UNC.

How Does This Impact the Housing Market?

job market in raleigh nc

Both the strong economy and Research Triangle Park have given the Raleigh-Durham housing market a major boost in the last three to four years, with growth in the housing market rising as high as 15 percent. In most of the top-selling Triangle counties, including Wake and Durham, the biggest challenge has been that the demand for homes is often higher than the supply.

Still, housing market experts are optimistic about home sales growth in the Triangle region in the next few years. A top factor is Research Triangle Park, since the continued presence of the universities there helps attract newcomers searching for good jobs and a high quality of life. That’s expected to continue driving the housing market up for the foreseeable future.

In fact, there are 12 traditional universities and colleges in the Triangle area, as well as numerous satellite campuses. As they continue to draw in new students and turn out successful graduates, new housing starts in the Triangle have shot by 5% year over year. New, single-family home construction has increased by 6.4%, while construction of new townhouses and condominiums experienced double-digit growth of 26.5%.

That increase in new construction was driven by the influx of new residents, bringing more and more new prospective homebuyers into the market. A survey by Trulia, in fact, noted that Raleigh’s ability to construct new homes to meet the housing demand is the second highest in the nation, after only Las Vegas.

That’s another reason why so many newcomers come to the Raleigh-Durham areas. Businesses looking for good talent don’t want there to be impediments to people relocating there, including the cost of housing.

Cities like San Francisco, Seattle and New York City are struggling with sky-high housing prices that are beyond the reach of most workers, but that’s not the case in the Raleigh-Durham area. According to the real estate website Zillow, the median home value in Raleigh is $267,500, a figure that’s close to the national average. As a result, Raleigh home values have gone up 6.1% over the past year, and Zillow predicts they’ll rise an additional 4.1% in the next year – making for an excellent long-term investment.

The median price of homes currently listed in Raleigh is $339,994 while the median price of homes that have sold recently is $245,000. That puts the region at a much more affordable standing than other coastal cities like Los Angeles.

That’s why so many top employers are coming to Raleigh, and why the area ranks so highly when it comes to business growth and finding great careers.

Businesses know the local universities are turning out the kind of talent they need, and they also know their workers will enjoy living there, with so many great cultural events happening in downtown, and with an affordable housing market.

And workers are coming here knowing that those businesses are creating the kind of jobs they’re looking for.

It’s an unbeatable combination right now.


The Greater Raleigh-Durham area offers a great deal for prospective home buyers, since the region benefits from a very healthy economy that continues to attract new businesses. Having Research Triangle Park there helps quite a bit, attracting more young families relocating here to take advantage of a vibrant jobs market.

The city also benefits from a strong real estate market where homes are still affordable.

If you’re relocating to this area, have lived here a while and are ready to buy your first home, or are thinking about retiring here, contact us at Waterford Green Communities. Our team of experienced home builders and community development professionals take a lot of pride in building homes in this region that are immaculately designed, appealing to families of all sizes, and won’t be a problem matching your budget.

Our team designs homes with the highest quality materials, and we believe that every family deserves a beautiful place to call home.

We’re here to answer all your questions about our new homes. Contact us today at 919-629-1329 and let’s get you started on the path to owning your new home.

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