News & Rankings

Economic Development November Recap

New & Expanding Companies 


Queue Software | Raleigh | Software/IT | New

Queue Software recently relocated its entire operations from Syracuse, NY, to Raleigh. The company provides a platform that helps clients create applications. Currently, Queue Software employs six in Raleigh and over the next several months plans to increase its headcount to 18.   


Ipreo | Raleigh | Software/IT | Expanding

Ipreo, a New York-based technology firm, plans to double its existing space in downtown Raleigh. The company cites the Triangle as a source of talent necessary to sustain its continued global revenue and client growth. Ipreo now leases more than 45,000 square feet of space and employs 190 in downtown Raleigh.

Wake County Municipality Highlight: Holly Springs  


Located in southwestern Wake County, Holly Springs has been transformed from a sleepy town of fewer than 1,000 residents in 1990 to a thriving community with a population exceeding 30,000 today. Housing options are diverse and include two private golf course communities. Holly Springs High School has been recognized by the Washington Post (2012) and U.S. News & World Report (2014) as top performing schools. The largest employer, Novartis Vaccines, opened for business in November 2009 and now employs more than 550 full time associates and approximately 200 contract workers. The company has invested more than $1 billion in its state of the art manufacturing facility in Holly Springs. The company cites infrastructure to support the facility, access to an enormous and talented labor pool, and the quality of life in the community as driving factors in their decision to locate in Holly Springs. 


To learn more about Holly Springs, read the full story.  

New & Expanding Metrics Since January 2014 


Jan. -- Nov. 2014

New & Expanding Company Announcements







Since the beginning of 2014, 75 companies have announced relocations or expansions in Wake County. This accounts for the creation of 4,352 new jobs and investment of more than $466 million. Of those announcements, 49 (65 percent) are in Wake County Economic Development's cluster industries.



Project Metrics Since January 2014: 



Jan. -- Nov. 2014

Projects Received


Client Visits


Potential Jobs


Potential Investment

$2.7 billion


Since Jan. 1, 2014, Wake County Economic Development has worked directly on 98 projects from companies considering relocations or expansions in Wake County. These projects would total 14,825 new jobs and more than $2.7 billion of investment if each were to successfully locate in Wake County. WCED has also hosted 29 client visits to the area.

Recent News & Events 


WCED Sponsors Annual Internet Summit

The 5th Annual Internet Summit was held at the Raleigh Convention Center on Nov. 11 -- 13. Sponsored by media organization TechMedia, Internet Summit is a leading digital strategies forum that educates and promotes forward-thinking and thought leadership on topics related to Internet business and marketing. The event featured more than 50 sessions, covering topics from social media to venture capital perspectives, and a keynote speech from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Wake County Economic Development was a sponsor of this year's summit and exhibited at a booth during the event, highlighting jobs and quality of life in the Triangle.


National PR Firm Visits Wake County for Immersion Tour

WCED and the city of Raleigh have partnered with Development Counsellors International, a national PR and marketing firm that specializes in marketing places----cities, states, countries and regions----to officially launch a national media and storytelling campaign to raise the profile of Raleigh, Wake County, and the greater Raleigh region. As part of DCI's efforts, representatives from the firm traveled to Wake County on Nov. 18 and 19 to tour the region and meet face-to-face with key companies and organizations located here. The goal of their trip was to uncover storylines in Wake County's target industries that they can take to top national, international, and trade media, as well as gain a better understanding of the community and landscape first hand.  


WCED and NC Biotechnology Center Host Merz Welcome Reception and Job Fair 

Merz North America, a specialty pharmaceutical company that will officially begin relocating its North American headquarters from Greensboro to Raleigh in mid-December, was welcomed to the greater Raleigh business community via a job fair and reception hosted by WCED and the NC Biotechnology Center on Nov. 18. The purpose of the event was to give Merz's future partners and job candidates an opportunity to learn more about the global pharmaceutical company, including its open positions, and transition to Raleigh. There was a great turnout from the business community and the region's talented and diverse pool of professionals.


DEFNET Cluster Event Hosted by WCED and NC State University

Nearly 70 industry leaders attended a defense technology networking event hosted by WCED, in partnership with NC State University, on Nov. 20. Wake County and the Research Triangle region is a thriving home for many defense and intelligence companies and contractors.


WCED Participates in Fuquay-Varina Chamber Bus Tour 

Ashley Cagle, project manager for WCED, participated in a panel discussion about economic development as a part of the Fuquay-Varina Chamber's Annual Bus Tour on Nov. 20. The panel, which kicked off the half-day event, focused on the economic development efforts in the town of Fuquay-Varina and Wake County, including topics of product development, workforce development, retail attraction, education, and localized traffic solutions. Also highlighted was Fuquay-Varina's "Big Four" initiative, which seeks to attract companies by showcasing the town's ready and available workforce.    


Raleigh Receives Coverage in Entrepreneur Magazine 

In November, Entrepreneur Magazine's online publication featured two pieces highlighting Raleigh's progress towards becoming a top city for entrepreneurship. The first story, "What It Takes to Build a Startup City: Meet 7 Mayors Promoting Entrepreneurship," showcases seven mayors promoting entrepreneurship across the country. Mayor Nancy McFarlane points to the strong public-private partnerships in the region and access to world-class universities as catalysts for driving innovation. The subsequent article, titled "Can Cities Be a One-Stop Shop for Entrepreneurs?," is centered on the city of Raleigh's goal of becoming one of the top five hubs for entrepreneurs in the coming years and the importance of proactively connecting entrepreneurs with resources to nurture their success. Entrepreneur's website receives 9 million unique monthly visitors and its Twitter page, where the articles were promoted, has more than 900,000 followers. Wake County Economic Development, in partnership with the city of Raleigh, has launched a national media campaign and story-telling effort to proactively raise the profile of Raleigh and Wake County. These pieces are a result of that effort.  


Quality of Life Brochure Produced by WCED

Wake County Economic Development recently completed development of brand new marketing material pertaining to quality of life in Wake County. The collateral showcases cultural amenities throughout Greater Raleigh, including outdoor activities, sports, the arts, lifelong learning opportunities, and entertainment.

Upcoming Events


2015 Economic Forecast

Jan. 9

--  10 a.m.

The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce will host the 2015 Economic Forecast on Jan. 9. The event will feature Michael Brown, economist for Wells Fargo Securities, and Dr. Matthew Martin, senior vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Charlotte regional executive. Brown and Martin will provide economic outlooks for 2015 and discuss the impact of current conditions on businesses and households throughout our region and the nation. Hear their detailed analyses of existing conditions, future trends, and general patterns.

Recent Rankings  


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

  • #2 Most Internet-Connected City in the U.S. (Cary, NC) 
    U.S. Census Bureau 
  • #3 Safest City in America (Cary, NC) 
    24/7 Wall Street 
  • #7 Smartest City in America (Raleigh, NC) 

Wake County Labor Market Statistics  


Labor Force & Employment



Since October 2013, Wake County's labor force has increased by 10,375 and employment has increased by 16,210. This represents a growth of 2 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively. The number of those unemployed----displayed in the graph above as the differential of labor force and employment----has fallen by 20.7 percent to 22,355.



Unemployment Rate



Wake County's unemployment rate, the proportion of those unemployed relative to the labor force, has fallen from 5.6 percent in October of last year to 4.4 percent this year. This represents a 1.2 percent decrease.



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