For North Carolina – and particularly for Charlotte and the Triangle – this [MetLife jobs announcement] is big news.

The estimated 2,600 jobs coming to the state will also create about 800 associated jobs in other industries.

It shows the state’s two “racehorse regions” – Charlotte and the Triangle – still “have it” as the economic recovery begins to accelerate.

The two regions are being fueled by a “bumper crop” of college graduates – in the last five years, the number of college graduates in Charlotte and the Triangle surged by 24 percent and 21 percent respectively, compared to 11 percent for the nation.

On the “downside,” this news does highlight the continuing economic disparity within North Carolina. While the state’s headline metro regions boom, many of our rural counties are looking to who will provide their next paychecks.

The state does a benefit-cost analysis on incentives, so presumably this project passed the test.

I do note there are hiring conditions that must be met.

Editor’s note: Dr. Mike Walden is a William Neal Reynolds Professor and North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics of N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He teaches and writes on personal finance, economic outlook and public policy.