Raleigh Surge Leads North Carolina Jobs Growth, Fed Says

    by Lauren Ohnesorge – Senior Staff Writer, Triangle Business Journal

    North Carolina has added hundreds of thousands of jobs since the 2020 pandemic, and isn’t seeing signs of a slowdown.

    The latest labor market report out of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia, is in, and it shows another positive month of job growth in February for North Carolina. But when you parse out Raleigh, specifically, the news is even better, says Laura Ullrich, a senior regional economist with the Fed who covers the Carolinas.

    North Carolina’s employment is up nearly 7.7 percent from pre-Covid levels, amounting to nearly 355,000 jobs.

    “That’s tremendous growth over that time… but then if you narrow in to Raleigh, Raleigh has seen a very large percentage of that,” she said.

    The Raleigh metro accounts for about 81,400 of those jobs, having seen 12.6 percent growth during that same time period, according to Fed data. In other words, 23 percent of the jobs gained since the pandemic were in the Raleigh metro.

    Add in a 3.1 percent unemployment rate for the metro compared to 3.5 percent statewide, and “the market is tighter in Raleigh,” she said.

    The biggest post-pandemic sectors growth-wise in the state have been professional business services and financial activities, which added 20.6 percent and 13.8 percent more jobs, respectively

    But Ullrich said that, despite the positive numbers, there’s disparity across the Carolinas. There are places like Raleigh and Charleston, South Carolina, that have seen the fastest growth, but there are also areas such as Asheville and Hilton Head, South Carolina, where there has been a population boom, but the employment statistics just aren’t keeping up, as many of the moves were retirements.

    “How the labor market feels … it really does depend on where your feet are planted,” she said.

    To read the entire article, please visit the Triangle Business Journal.