Texas, Florida, and North Carolina Labor Markets

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Texas, Florida, and North Carolina have all been identified previously as attractive real estate investment markets. Here’s the latest job market analysis from Wells Fargo.

On Texas:

Payrolls increased by 6,700 jobs in February following January’s upwardly revised 53,700-job gain. Texas employment is up 1.9 percent year-to-year. The jobless rate rose to 4.9 percent as the labor force expanded.

On Florida:

Florida’s payrolls declined by 5,000 jobs in February following January’s upwardly revised 55,600-job gain. The state has added 240,400 jobs over the past year, up 2.9 percent. The jobless rate remained at 5.0 percent.

With job growth in high gear for the past few years, job seekers are once again beating a path to the Sunshine State. Florida was home to four of the nation’s ten fastest-growing metropolitan areas in 2016, including the fastest growing area, The Villages, a largely retiree-dominated metro area located northwest of Orlando. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area was 5th fastest-growing area and Punta Gorda and North Port-Sarasota were the 8th and 10th fastest-growing areas, respectively.

On North Carolina:

North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 5.1 percent in February, as employment grew faster than the labor force. Nonfarm employment rose solidly, as employers added 9,100 net new jobs.

Strong job growth continues to pull job seekers into North Carolina’s largest metropolitan areas. Charlotte added 49,700 residents in 2016, which was the 12th largest gain of all U.S. metropolitan areas. About two-thirds of Charlotte’s growth came from net domestic in-migration, meaning more U.S. residents moved to Charlotte than moved away. Net
domestic in-migration totaled 31,700 in 2016, marking the 6th largest gain nationwide. The pickup largely reflects people moving to Charlotte for job opportunities and is one of the reasons so many apartments and new homes are being built throughout the area. The Queen City is also attracting a growing number of retirees in retiree-driven markets, like Lancaster County, SC, which is one of the fastest-growing parts of the Charlotte metro area.