Best and Worst States for Jobs: Should you consider North Carolina?

Jobs are on everyone’s mind.

North Carolina is a state to consider when looking for work despite its high unemployment rate of 8.7%. It is currently rated 44th,(one of the Worst) on our  Best and Worst State Unemployment List

Yet Wayne Gretzky once said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is.  A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

Same thing with jobs.  A great job seeker goes where the jobs are going to be!!!!

North Carolina is long term an attractive place for job seekers.

Here are a few reasons:

Chief Executive Magazine  does an annual Best And Worst States to Grow Your Business. CEO’s ranked North Carolina 3rd in 2008.  It has been in the top 5 the last 4 years.

Its cost of living is favorable compared to many high cost states in the U.S.  Businesses like lower costs.

It is attractive to new hot industries and companies.

For example, North Carolina  has emerged as a global biotech leader. This is reflected in a multitude of facts:
• North Carolina is the third Best Biotech State in the nation with 482 companies in the field.
• At least 45 biotech firms in the state are based on North Carolina university technologies.
• Nearly 55,000 North Carolina residents work in biotech, representing an annual payroll of $3 billion.
• Major biotech companies with operations in North Carolina include GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Catalent Pharma, Novartis, Syngenta, BASF, Biogen Idec, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Wyeth and others.

What does being attractive to business mean?

Look at this recent announcement from Spirit AeroSystems.

N.C. Gov. Mike Easley, third from left, was among those participating in September
groundbreaking ceremonies for Spirit AeroSystems’ facility in Kinston, N.C.
Groundbreaking for Spirit AeroSystems' Kinston facility

Photo:  Site Selection Online

Spirit will build a 500,000-sq.-ft. (46,450-sq.-m.) complex at the North Carolina Global TransPark (GTP) near Kinston to design and manufacture the center fuselage frame section for the Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) commercial aircraft. The company also will produce the front spars for the aircraft’s wings at the Kinston plant, which is scheduled to be operational in 2010.
Spirit expects to hire 500 people upon completion and the number could go to 1000 depending on business circumstances.

While projects, like Spirits, can go slower and be smaller than expected due to changing market circumstances, one important point should not be forgotten.  Spirit selected North Carolina over many other locations.  Other businesses will likely do the same.  This is where the puck is going to be.

Monster Board currently shows 3905 jobs posted in the past 30 days.  The jobs are primarily in sales and health care fields.  This is not a high number now.  When businesses start to grow, they will pick attractive states like North Carolina to expand.   Remember there is a positive multiplier effect for jobs in other industries such as housing, retail and services from this kind of business expansion.

I hope you become a “great” job seeker and go where the jobs are going to be!

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