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RALEIGH, N.C. - Raleigh-Cary is the hottest metropolitan area for jobs in the United States, says Forbes magazine in its annual survey of the top 100 cities.
Raleigh-Cary vaulted to first from seventh in the 2006 list, which was announced on Friday.
The area scored best in job growth rank, 10th, and income growth rank, 12th, in five separate statistical surveys that made up the survey.
“Raleigh, N.C., topped our list this year,” wrote Hannah Clark in the Forbes report. “The city has low unemployment, strong income and job growth, and high incomes--yet it still maintains a relatively low cost of living. Raleigh is part of the "research triangle," including Durham and Chapel Hill. Three major universities - Duke, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University - make their homes in the area. The result: A city with good weather, a relatively low cost of living and a highly educated population.”
"There isn't much of a negative in Raleigh," Steven Cochrane, an economist with Moody's economy.com, told Forbes. "It has a lot of the amenities of Florida, except not the hurricanes."
The unemployment rate in Raleigh-Cary was under 4 percent in December, according to the latest figures from the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
Raleigh-Cary scored a total of 110 points, 11 better than second-place Phoenix. The capital area finished 13th in unemployment, 30th in median household income. However, its cost of living was high – 45th.
The data in those five categories was compiled by Moody’s economy.com. The 100 largest metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau were included. Each statistical category was weighted equally, according to Forbes.
Also making the top 100 from North Carolina were Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord and Greensboro-High Point. However, the Charlotte area fell four places from 2006 to 36th place. Greensboro-High Point fell to 89th from 85th.
Atlanta, meanwhile, vaulted to 22nd from 42nd. Columbia, S.C. climbed to 50th from 63rd, and Greenville-Spartnburg jumped to 68th from 91st.
Americans continue to move to the West and Southeast and away from parts of the Northeast and Midwest, according to an analysis of migration trends by the nation's largest mover.
United Van Lines has been tracking moving trends since 1977. The study of 227,254 moves handled by the company in 2006 in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia was released Monday. It looked at all moves that involved either going to or leaving a state.
North Carolina had the highest inbound migration with 64 percent of moves going into the state. Oregon was second with 62.5 percent, followed by South Carolina (60.6), Nevada (59.9) and Idaho (59.3). At the other end, Michigan and North Dakota tied for the most outbound migration. Nearly two-thirds of all moves in both states - 66 percent - were heading out. Other states with high outbound migration were New Jersey (60.9), New York (59.5) and Indiana (58.2).
Eight of the 10 winners in inbound migration were from the Southeast or West. The only exceptions were the District of Columbia, whose inbound migration of 57.9 percent tied for sixth, and South Dakota, 10th with an inbound migration of 55.9 percent.
One of the few western states with outbound migration continued to be California, though the outbound percentage (52.4) was the lowest in four years.
States with the biggest percentage of moves leaving the state were all from the East or Midwest except for Louisiana, still feeling the impact of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Louisiana had the seventh-highest outbound migration with 56.4 percent of shipments leaving the state.
The findings announced by Carl Walter, vice president of United Van Lines, did not seek to determine reasons for the migration patterns. But Walters said the study is used by real estate firms, financial institutions and others for business planning and analysis.
United Van Lines, based in suburban St. Louis, has about 30 percent of the market for moving household goods, the company said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.