These Are The 10 Best Cities In North Carolina To Get A Job

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best Places For Jobs, Rankings - 3 years ago
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If you’re starting to look for a job in North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place.

You might think off the top of your head that Charlotte or Chapel Hill would be an excellent place to find a job. And while they do offer many opportunities, they aren’t the best in the state according to the data.

Here at Zippia, we aim to answer questions like this using cold hard facts and analysis. So we set our sights on determining the best place in North Carolina to find a job.

After analyzing all 700 plus places in North Carolina, we came up with this list as the best places for jobs in the Tar Heel State:

  1. Cary
  2. Apex
  3. Wake Forest
  4. Marvin
  5. Weddington
  6. Wesley Chapel
  7. Holly Springs
  8. Stallings
  9. Waxhaw
  10. Mills River

Read on to learn how we calculated this ranking.

For more North Carolina job information, check out:

How We Determined The Best Places For Jobs In North Carolina

In order to properly compare places, we set a minimum population threshold of 5,000 people.

After getting the data for about 740 places in NC, the population requirement cut out list down to 146 places.

We then ranked each place across a number of criteria from one to 146, with one being the best.

We took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place For Jobs In North Carolina”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  1. Unemployment rate
  2. Recent job growth
  3. Future job growth
  4. Sales tax
  5. Median household income

Sources of criteria include the the BLS and Sperling’s Best Places.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart and a downloadable file of all the data.

Otherwise, learn how these cities got to their executive suite status.

1. Cary

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source:Wikipedia

Population: 136,627
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Median Household Income: $91,349

Cary ranks as our number one overall best place to find a job in North Carolina. It scored well across the board, but extremely well for its unemployment rate (2nd) and future job growth (2nd).

This city right outside of Raleigh is known as being a great place to live and that has a lot to do with the fact that the people there all have jobs and get paid well for doing them.

If you are thinking of moving to NC and will need to find a job, we strongly recommend you start your search in Cary.

2. Apex

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source:Wikipedia

Population: 37,589
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Median Household Income: $89.398

Cary’s next door neighbor Apex finishes right behind it in second place on our list.

With easy access to the jobs in the research triangle, Apex boasts the same future job growth as Cary (2nd best) and a similarly low, but not quite as strong, current unemployment rate (4th best).

3. Wake Forest

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source: Flickr user TriangleREVA

Population: 29,889
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Median Household Income: $74,221

Coming in at number 3 on our list is Wake Forest. Not to be confused with the college located in Winston-Salem; Wake Forest is another suburb of Raleigh.

Wake Forest boasts being the leader in North Carolina for two major criteria — unemployment rate and future job growth. That’s a winning combination.

The only thing holding Wake Forest back from being number one in our analysis is a slightly lower median household income than its two southern neighbors.

4. Marvin

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source: RealGeeks

Population: 5,484
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Household Income: 160,093

Marvin takes the fourth spot on our ranking of the best places to find jobs in North Carolina. While it’s the first non-Raleigh suburb on the list, it too is a suburb of a major city — Charlotte.

While the unemployment scores in the top 20% of all the places we examined, Marvin shines when it comes to median household income where it took top overall honors.

5. Weddington

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source: LeagueAthletics

Population: 9,577
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Household Income: $139,390

This ranking is starting to form a pattern as Weddington, a suburb of a Charlotte and the next door neighbor to Marvin, places fifth on our list.

Weddington scored exactly the same as Marvin, but with a median household income 10% lower. If ever there was sibling rivalry between place, these two towns exemplify it.

6. Wesley Chapel

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source: Point2

Population: 7,462
Unemployment Rate:5.3%
Median Household Income: $96,073

Completing the triplets of Charlotte suburbs, Wesley Chapel placed sixth in our analysis of the best places to find jobs in North Carolina.
It two had the same marks as Marvin and Weddington, again just faring slightly worse when it comes to median household income (5th overall).

These three suburbs are pretty exclusive considering their combined population is less than Wake Forest’s population.

7. Holly Springs

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source: Wikipedia

Population:24,663
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Median Household Income: $89,187

Breaking into the top ten at number seven is Holly Springs.

In the battle of Raleigh vs Charlotte that has been forming throughout our research, Holly Springs adds another city to the Raleigh column.

It’s strong future job growth (6th overall) propelled it into its current position. And a median household income in the top ten didn’t hurt either.

8. Stallings

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source: ActiveRain

Population: 13,638
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Household Income: $79,304

Stallings, another suburb on the outskirts of Charlotte, ranks as the 8th best place for jobs in North Carolina.

A strong unemployment rate in the top 20% of places and a median household income in the top 10% of places made its 8th place ranking well deserved.

9. Waxhaw

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source: Cunnane Group

Population: 9,743
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Household Income:$76,332

A growing community near Charlotte, Waxhaw comes in a tie for ninth in our rankings for best places for jobs in North Carolina.

Waxhaw’s median household income is comfortably in the top 15% of the Tar Heel state and it scored well for it’s low unemployment rate and future job growth.

9. Mills River

Best Places For Jobs In NC

Source: MIlls River

Population: 6,806
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Median Household Income: $63,272

Mills River ties with Waxhaw for 9th best place for jobs in North Carolina.

Its the odd duck of our list being the only town that is neither a suburb of Raleigh nor Charlotte; it’s closest big city neighbor is Asheville.

Like many of the places on this list, Mills River ranked extraordinarily well when it came to having a low unemployment rate (15th overall) and future job growth (19th overall).

Landing The Right Place For A Job

The best places for jobs in North Carolina have one major common attribute — they are all suburbs of major metros. Whether it be the Raleigh and the research triangle or Charlotte, these places use their geographic proximity to big cities to their advantage.

It also means that the American dream of a house in the burbs is also alive and well when it comes to finding a great place to have a job.

For more North Carolina job information, check out: