News & Rankings

Economic Development May Recap

Raleigh Ranked the Best City for Jobs 


Raleigh was ranked as the Best City for Jobs by Glassdoor. The rankings were determined by weighting three factors equally: how easy it is to get a job (hiring opportunity), how affordable it is to live there (cost of living), and how satisfied employees are working there (job satisfaction).


As part of the report, they include each metro's median pay for employees, median home value, job satisfaction rating, number of current job openings, and population. 


Raleigh's numbers are as follows: 

Glassdoor Job Score: 4.1

  • Number of Job Openings: 24,146
  • Population: 1,242,974
  • Median Base Salary: $50,950
  • Median Home Value: $198,400
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3


Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain stated, "Raleigh is also situated in the famous "Research Triangle" and has several universities feeding skilled workers to employers. Couple this with Raleigh's walkable neighborhoods and affordable homes; it's no surprise that Raleigh stands out as the best city for jobs."

New & Expanding Companies 


SAS Institute | Cary | Software/IT | Expanding 

Cary analytics giant SAS is planning a new nine-story office building and training center called Building A. Plans for Building A, which have not yet been approved by the town of Cary, call for a nearly 420,000-square-foot project, complete with more than 1,100 parking spaces. If built, the new structure would be the 24th building at the SAS campus in Cary. SAS employs about 5,300 in Cary and about 14,000 worldwide. The Cary site has expanded annually by about 4 percent, according to statements Jim Goodnight made last year.


SFW | Raleigh | Marketing | New

Greensboro-based marketing group SFW is opening an office at the NC State University Centennial Campus. The campus is the only research campus in North America that combines academic programs, corporate, governmental and nonprofit partners, which pairs well with the SFW focus on research insights, says SFW CEO Ged King. The company has grown more than 40 percent each year for the past five years, increasing their staff from 12 to 60 employees during that time. The agency is also in hiring mode with an eye open for designers, digital marketing experts, account management, and other positions.


Ipreo | Raleigh | Software/IT | Expanding

Financial technology firm Ipreo continues to expand its workforce. The firm currently has a headcount greater than 200 and plans to hire at least 50 more by the end of the year----from product management to development roles. To accommodate the growth, Ipreo is taking over another floor of office space in its high-rise building on Fayetteville Street. A recently completed staircase connects the two floors Ipreo now occupies. And a construction café and training room will round out the renovations, expected to be completed by the end of May.


WakeMed Women's Hospital | Raleigh | Healthcare | Expanding

WakeMed Health & Hospitals is set to open the WakeMed North Family Health & Women's Hospital, an expansion of the health system's existing North Healthplex in North Raleigh. The hospital will focus heavily on women's services, though it will still see some male patients as well. The 248,800-square-foot, 61-bed women's hospital at the corner of Falls of Neuse and Durant roads brings with it new and expanded services. This is the health system's third full-service hospital offering a birthing experience. More than 7,500 babies are born at WakeMed's hospitals in Raleigh and Cary each year.


Peak10 Inc. | Morrisville | Data Center | Expanding

National IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, Peak 10, Inc., continues its expansion of facilities and services with the construction and renovation of its data center operations at 5150 McCrimmon Parkway in Morrisville. The new build-out contains 31,500-square foot of space which will include a third data center, new office space, and a state-of-the-art Technical Assistance Center. The expansion will include the addition of new support staff positions and bring Peak 10's total Raleigh footprint to more than 100,000 square feet. The new facility will accommodate new and existing customers throughout the central and eastern regions of the state.


Compass Rose Brewery | Raleigh | Brewery | New 

Compass Rose Brewery, which opened this month off Gresham Lake Road, is the first brewery in northeast Raleigh. Compass Rose----owned by John Coulter, Thomas Vincent, Jose Luis Martinez, and Gary Kohake----wants to tap into the North Raleigh crowd, which might feel a bit left out of the brewery scene. For now, Compass Rose won't bottle and sell its beer, but it will sell kegs and distribute to bottle shops and restaurants. The brewery also plans to feature local food trucks in lieu of a full kitchen.


Samanage | Cary | Software/IT | Expanding

Cary-based Samanage has raised a whopping $16 million. The local headcount----currently at 30----doubled in 2014. And, boosted by the new financing, he expects the pattern to repeat itself in the next 12 months. Currently, there are seven open job positions for the Cary office with more to come in marketing, customer support, and engineering, leading to a hiring spree of about 50. The firm is in the process of doubling its office space in Cary to about 10,000 square feet. Samanage creates service software such as a performance benchmarking product that allows organizations to measure and benchmark performance against peers.


Credit Suisse | Research Triangle Park | Financial Services | Expanding

Global investment banker Credit Suisse is planning a 25 percent expansion----one that will involve an entirely new space in addition to its current footprint in Research Triangle Park.


SimpliVity | Raleigh | Software/IT | Expanding 

Massachusetts tech firm SimpliVity recently expanded its customer support operations to Raleigh, a move that brought 30 jobs----but that's just the start of the company's plan for the Triangle. A SimpliVity spokesperson confirms the company plans to double that local headcount by the end of the year. SimpliVity works in what's called "hyper converged infrastructure," bringing multiple IT elements into one block of shareable resources. The goal is to simplify the infrastructure for companies, and investors are buying in. The company has raised more than $276 million in venture capital and employs 500 people across the globe.


New & Expanding Metrics Since January 2015 


Jan. --  May 2015

New & Expanding Company Announcements





$99.5 million

Since the beginning of 2015, 30 companies have announced relocations or expansions in Wake County. This accounts for the creation of 864 new jobs and investments of more than $99.5 million. Of those announcements, 15 (50 percent) are in Wake County Economic Development's cluster industries.


Project Metrics Since January 2015 

Total Projects Received Since Jan. 2015 


Potential Jobs


Potential Investment

$2.9 billion

Client Visits


Active Projects


Potential Jobs
Potential Investment
$3 billion

 Since Jan. 1, 2015, Wake County Economic Development has received 38 new projects from companies considering relocations or expansions in Wake County. These projects would total 11,148 new jobs and more than $2.9 billion of investment if each were to successfully locate in Wake County. WCED has also hosted 10 client visits to the area. Currently, Wake County Economic Development is working on 46 active projects. These projects would total 9,279 new jobs and more than $3 billion of investment if each were to decide to locate in Wake County.

Recent News & Events  


New Staff Joins Wake County Economic Development 

Kathryn Elias joined Wake County Economic Development as our new marketing assistant.  A graduate of NC State University with a degree in communications - public relations with a minor in nonprofit studies, Kathryn most recently served as the marketing coordinator for Pack Purchase, a Raleigh technology start-up.

Business Attraction & Target Industry Clusters 

Wake County Economic Development Launches Site 

Assessment Program

On May 13, WCED officially launched a site assessment program in response to the need among local communities for assistance with product development. With help from Crystal Morphis, founder and CEO of Creative Economic Development Consulting, local developers, EDGE investors, and economic development allies and partners were given an overview of what's trending with site development and why site development is essential to having a sustainable economic development program. 

 As part of the program, WCED issued a request for information in February for sites within the county that are 11 acres or larger. Since that time, thousands of acres of property have been evaluated by our team using a site assessment tool which gives sites a score based on transportation, utilities, and site characteristics. Currently, the WCED team is meeting with local developers to review their score and talk about their goals for product development. An advisory committee has been formed and will guide the scope of work for this program. 


Hong Kong Delegation Visits Wake County 

Hong Kong is a springboard for economic growth in both China and Asia. On May 18, a delegation from Hong Kong met at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce to inform regional business executives about the city's trade potential, competitive economy, and thriving business climate. The Raleigh/Wake County and Hong Kong business leaders also discussed the potential for business expansion into other markets.


Research Triangle Regional Partnership Hosts 2015 State of the Research Triangle Region

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership's 2015 State of the Research Triangle Region event was held on May 21. Nearly 1,000 of the region's industry and community leaders gathered to discuss the region's economy, trends, and forecasts. The annual event focused on what it means to be a "Smart Region" based on collaboration and convergent technology, and took a look back as RTRP celebrated 25 years of growth in the region. 


Marketing & Public Relations 

Smart Grid Today Publishes Piece on GridBridge

Smart Grid Today published "GridBridge takes DA, volt/VAR past testing phase." The story highlights how Raleigh-based GridBridge is helping utilities solve a range of issues through its innovative smart grid technology. The article also spotlights collaboration between GridBridge and both Duke Energy and NC State University, emphasizing cleantech collaboration and innovation in the Triangle. Smart Grid Today reports on emerging trends, applications, and policies driving the modern utility industry. The publication is read by electric utility executives, state, and federal regulators and a wide variety of experts and technology chiefs. The outlet reaches 20,000 unique monthly visitors. 

Wake County Economic Development Sponsors CityCampNC

Wake County Economic Development, in partnership with City of Raleigh Economic Development, is sponsoring CityCampNC on June 11 - 13.  CityCampNC is an annual event that brings citizens, city/county/state government, and businesses together to openly innovate and improve our quality of life through technology. 

Recent Rankings  


For a full list of rankings, please download the Raleigh/Wake County Rankings Flyer.


  • #1 Best City for Jobs 
    (Raleigh, NC) Glassdoor | May 2015
  • #2 Most Active Market for New Home Sales 
    (Raleigh, NC) CoreLogic | May 2015 
  • #2 Best City to Work for a Small Business 
    (Raleigh, NC) WalletHub | May 2015
  • #3 Most Mom-Friendly City in the U.S. 
    (Raleigh, NC) Sperling's BestPlaces & Teleflora | May 2015
  • #5 Most Pro-Business City in America 
    (Raleigh, NC) Market Watch | May 2015

Wake County Labor Market Statistics  


Labor Force & Employment


 Since March 2014, Wake County's labor force has increased by 20,012 and employment has increased by 23,190. This represents growth of 4.0 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively. The number of those unemployed----displayed in the graph above as the differential of labor force and employment----has fallen by 12.8 percent.  


Unemployment Rate



Wake County's unemployment rate (the proportion of those unemployed relative to the labor force) has fallen from 5.1 percent in January 2014 to 4.3 percent in January 2015. This represents a 0.8 percent decrease. 


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