Charlotte and Raleigh rank high on latest Forbes list for businesses and careers

North Carolina landed four cities in the top-15 on Forbes’ 2018 “Best Places For Business And Careers” list, and two within the top-5.

But it was Raleigh that ranked highest of the four and was singled out by the business publication as “the most consistent performer” in the past 16 years.

The study looked at 14 metrics related to jobs, economic growth, cost of living and education to assess business climates in the nation’s 200 largest metropolitan areas.

Raleigh ranked No. 2 for the third year in a row, outshined only by Seattle.

Forbes drew comparisons between Seattle, Amazon’s hometown, and Raleigh, which made the short list of candidates for HQ2, Amazon’s second North American headquarters. It also pointed out an area where Raleigh has the upper hand.

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“Like Seattle, Raleigh features a strong economy and educated workforce, repopulated by nearby universities like Duke and UNC,” the Forbes report said. “One big advantage for Raleigh is business costs that are 14% below the national average, per Moody’s Analytics, compared to Seattle at 10% above the U.S. average.”

Charlotte came in at No. 5, two places better than it placed on Forbes’ 2017 list of best and worst business and career places. Durham ranked No. 13 and Asheville No. 15 this year.

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North Carolina is no stranger to such attention.

Forbes deemed it the No. 1 state in the nation for business in 2017, The News & Observer reported. The Milken Institute, a California think tank, also gave N.C. State University considerable credit in ranking Raleigh the No. 2 economy in the nation last year.

Milken applied that ranking to the HQ2 finalists earlier this year, and Raleigh came out as the top Amazon prospect.