The importance of state government as an economic factor in Wake County cannot be overstated. According to one estimate, state government employment in Raleigh totals 39,822 jobs, which is 8.78 percent of the Raleigh workforce. Those statistics are only for Raleigh and do not account for the 11 other municipalities in Wake County or unincorporated areas where people work for the state.
With North Carolina now ranked as the 10th most populated state in America, there are increasing demands by its citizens for more and better delivered state services. To accommodate these demands, state employees often work with the local private sector to solicit job bids for various projects. And of course, state employees need places to eat and shop near where they work, creating more demands for local goods and services.
Given that some 40,000 people work for the state government, these activities have a huge impact on Wake’s economy, particularly when the General Assembly is in session. This enormous and rather stable sector of our county’s economy has helped Wake weather economic downturns better than most areas of the country. There are no signs this will change considerably over the next few years.
Wake County and state government are synonymous in most people’s minds. For the economic future of the area, that’s a very good thing.