Monday, February 8, 2010

Study: Raleigh-Cary Ranked No. 3 in Five-Year Jobs Growth

Triangle Business Journal

The number of jobs in the Raleigh-Cary area grew 10.3 percent during the five-year period that ended in December – the third best performance among the 67 U.S. metros with a population of at least 750,000.

A study of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data conducted by G. Scott Thomas of Buffalo Business First, a sister paper of Triangle Business Journal, found that Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties added 47,600 jobs between December 2004 and December 2009, bringing the area’s total number of jobs to 508,300.

Raleigh-Cary ended up on the positive side of the jobs ledge despite losing nearly 20,000 jobs over the past two years. The area had 527,700 jobs in December 2007. (Go to the bottom of this page to see how Raleigh-Cary fared in each of the five years studied.)

Still, Raleigh-Cary trailed only two Texas metros in percentage job growth over the five-year stretch, which bodes well for the Raleigh real estate market. Austin led the way with 14.2 percent growth, to 781,000 jobs. San Antonio was second at 10.6 percent, to 847,700.

The only other North Carolina metro with at least 750,000 residents, Charlotte, also gained jobs during the five years studies. The Queen City added 24,200 jobs, or 3.1 percent – to 811,600 – despite taking a major hit on the jobs front with the financial crisis and the shedding of thousands of banking jobs.

The Durham metropolitan area was not big enough to be included in the study.

Texas posted the strongest performance, with four of the top six metros in terms of percentage gain. Houston, No. 4 in percentage gain at 8.9 percent, was No. 1 in raw gain at 206,600 jobs added over the five-year stretch.

Texas and North Carolina fared better than most areas of the country during the five years ended in December 2009. Nearly two-thirds of the 67 major markets have fewer jobs now than they did in 2004.

Detroit has suffered the worst – no surprise, given the woes besetting domestic automakers. The Detroit area has lost 343,700 jobs during the past five years.

Los Angeles and Chicago have also suffered six-figure declines. A total of 200,700 jobs have slipped away from L.A. since 2004, and 173,300 have vanished from the Chicago area.

Detroit also ranks the worst in terms of percentages. One-sixth of Detroit’s jobs -- 16.5 percent -- have disappeared in the past half-decade. New Orleans, which was battered by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita early in the study period, has suffered a five-year loss of 14.9 percent.

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