By Joshua Chiles, Research Analyst
CNBC has ranked North Carolina the No. 3 state for business in its annual America’s Top States for Business study. Conducted each year since 2007, the study ranks all 50 states based on 60 metrics in 10 categories, including Workforce, Economy, Quality of Life and Cost of Doing Business. This year, North Carolina received 1,586 out of a possible 2,500 points, and was narrowly eclipsed by Texas (1,589 points) and Virginia (1,610 points).
“While economic growth here pales in comparison to Washington and Utah, no state’s economy is on more solid ground than the Tar Heel state,” according to CNBC. “The housing market is healthy, and state finances are sound. The state attracted some $2.6 billion in venture capital in 2018, the 6th highest figure in the nation. It is also attracting skilled workers, who are moving to North Carolina in droves.”
Last year, the Raleigh-Durham area experienced another year of solid economic growth. High demand coupled with robust job and population growth boosted the Triangle’s local economy. Since 2018, employment in the Triangle increased by 20,875 jobs, and notable companies such as Amazon, Pendo and Ipreo invested more than $271 million. Leading this growth was the tech sector with more than 5,300 new jobs and $224 million invested. From Q2 2018 to Q2 2019, the region experienced job growth of 14,600 new jobs. Since 2001, the MSA population has grown 52%.
Raleigh ranked No. 2 on Forbes’ Best Places for Business and Careers in the U.S. in 2018, and the publication also named North Carolina the Best State for Business. Raleigh-Durham has one of the most renowned clusters of academic institutions in the nation with three Tier-1 research universities (Duke, UNC and NC State). The Triangle’s highly educated workforce has been a key driver for the area’s economic success, and it has the largest per capita concentrations of graduate degrees in the nation.
The Triangle has continued to benefit from its relatively low cost of living compared to other major metropolitan areas. With a favorable climate and close proximity to the mountains and beaches, the Triangle leads the Southeast region as one of the most desirable, growing cities.