Raleigh is a top 50 metro market with an economic growth rate of 113% and a global dominance in the information technology industry marketplace. The personal income of the Raleigh region is strong and growing but it is behind Charlotte and other high-growth markets. The key to Raleigh’s economic success is the dominance of the information technology industry. The industry cluster analysis below illustrates the Raleigh IT industry has a 2.0 location quotient—a 1.0 measure illustrates economic success. The Raleigh IT location quotient is off the charts high.
Of the 600,000 workers in the Raleigh region, nearly half of them hold a bachelor’s degree which illustrates the economic strength of the region as only Seattle among peer cities has a higher percentage of college graduates. However, even with over 34,000 workers in the computer and information technology sector, Raleigh, like most regions, is facing a skills gap when it comes to information technology workers with over 3000 open IT jobs. Raleigh is managing this explosive growth well otherwise with a competitive wage rate among technology jobs, available commercial and office space at reasonable rates, and an affordable cost of living that many Southern US markets enjoy. Raleigh’s infrastructure appears to be holding as traffic congestion compared to peer cities and its airport lands in the middle with nearly fifty direct flights to primarily domestic markets. North Carolina is a generally business friendly tax state. North Carolina saw a 2.5% increase in their taxing of business from 2015 to 2016 according to the Council on State Taxation. North Carolina taxes businesses less than Ohio. While Ohio has a slightly larger economy and population, the local and state governments in Ohio tax businesses $6 B more than North Carolina according to the Council on State Taxation. Reflecting the attractiveness of the market, Raleigh and the state of North Carolina’s tax incentive system is primarily geared toward large project attraction focused on manufacturing with more incentives available to less attractive markets outside of Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte. Raleigh is a global tech powerhouse that competes with Austin, Seattle, Boston and other hot-tech centers for large and small tech jobs projects.