RALEIGH – Despite the positive business ranking of “Top State for Business” from CNBC, a new survey shows that North Carolina is in the middle of the pack for job markets.

Louisiana has the country’s strongest labor market, with job openings up by 7.3% this year, according to a new study of the Best & Worst Job Markets By State. The study, conducted by Peak Sales Recruiting, reviewed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2021 to 2023.

North Carolina, the nation’s ninth largest in population, ranked No. 21 on the list, based on employment growth rate, job openings rate, layoffs rate, and other job market metrics.

“The Southeast is home to the states with the strongest labor markets in 2023, driven by strong employment growth, job openings and quits – meaning job seekers have their pick of the litter,” wrote Eliot Burdett, CEO and Co-Founder of Peak Sales Recruiting, in the report. “Notably, economic powerhouses California and New York rank among the states with the weakest labor markets. That’s not due to a lack of opportunity, with both states reporting above-average employment growth rates. But they are also experiencing major drops in average wages, as well as high underemployment and declines in labor productivity.”

Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and Idaho were ranked in the top 5. California ranked No. 51, joined in the bottom 5 by New York at No. 50, Rhode Island at No. 49, Washington at No. 48, and Michigan at No. 47.

North Carolina wins again as ‘Top State’ for business from CNBC