Apr 22, 2024 - News

North Carolina wages in the Triangle and Charlotte far outpace rest of the state

Average private sector wages, by county
Data: North Carolina Department of Commerce; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

North Carolina's highest-paying jobs are concentrated around the twin economic engines of the Research Triangle and Charlotte, according to data compiled by the state's Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The growing divergence of paychecks in N.C.'s cities versus rural areas highlights our state's growing rural and urban divide.

State of play: Employers are gravitating to where talented workforces are located and competing for workers, driving up wages.

The caveat: The data compiled by the Commerce Department only looked at wages in the private sector — so it does not include wages from government jobs or universities.

Between the lines: The cost of living, especially housing, is higher in dense metros like Durham, Raleigh and Charlotte. That means wages tend to be higher in those areas.

The counties with the highest private-sector wages were:

  1. Durham: $90,727
  2. Mecklenburg: $84,797
  3. Wake: $74,866
  4. Orange: $66,979
  5. Forsyth: $64,038
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