Raleigh Labor Market is Hot, Hot, Hot!

June 10, 2021

Raleigh’s labor market is sizzling hot right now, coming in at #2 for labor force participation rate out of the top 50 most populated cities in the country. The metro is poised for an early economic rebound as employment grows across the area.

Competition for talent is heating up in Raleigh, N.C.

The Raleigh metro unemployment rate was 3.6% in April, down from 3.8% in March, still third lowest among the top 50 most populous metros in the U.S. The low unemployment rate and higher-than-average labor force participation has created a tight labor supply and restricted recruiting for employers to fill open roles.

The market is down only 2.0% from pre-pandemic employment levels, as of April 2021, and has added a total of 8,100 new jobs in this year. The upside is that the area is experiencing strong business investment led by Apple, which is placing a new campus in the Research Triangle Park, adding 3,000 jobs.

In this market, talent acquisition professionals may face more challenging circumstances. Recent trends indicate modest talent pool growth from migration is occurring. With more workers active in the labor force, graduates from nearby institutions will be critical to filling job openings.


LaborIQ reports that local universities are supplying 10,000 graduates per year, providing employers in the Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte and nearby markets an opportunity to seize talent from different degree fields. For more experienced workers, organizations may need to deploy recruitment strategies to poach employees from the competition or look to other markets for remote talent.

The competition for talent is heating up in Raleigh. With job growth of 4% across industries by end of year, this metro will finish strong.

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy reports, forecasts and advises on employment conditions and the impact to jobs, industries and businesses across all U.S. cities.