Market Overview

7 Fastest Growing Industries in the Southeast


If ever there was a time to consider moving to or investing in the Southeast, this may well be it. The economy in the Southeast has been notoriously slower than the rest of the country for decades, but that's changing quickly. Everyone in the country has been saying for years that the only way to get America back into economic dominance is to bring back the manufacturing we had post-World War II. Well, the Southeast is getting the job done. Just check out some of the businesses and industries that are surging in this area. 


What do Apple, Boeing, General Electric, Haier, LeNovo, and Crisco have in common? They've all opened up major plants in the Southeast recently, and most plan to expand fairly rapidly. Canny state governments across the region have created powerful incentives to re-create the manufacturing industry in the Southeast, and they're paying off enormously.


Whether it's the traditional routes of oil and coal or the cutting edge of solar and other alternatives, energy is growing everywhere across the US, and the Southeast is no exception. Oklahoma City, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge are all among the top 10 US cities benefiting from the energy boom. 


Even as Detroit and the rest of the Rust Belt are just starting to reawaken from their post-recession coma, the auto industry has found a new home in the Southeast. Whether you're a Nashvillian who's happy to see the new Nissan plants opening up, or you're living in Virginia Beach and have been keeping an eye on the numerous smaller, independent companies that have recently opened up car plants in your area, it's a good thing all around. 

Hot Sauce

No, that's not a joke or a misprint -- it turns out that hot sauce production is the second fastest-growing industry in America, and naturally, it's focused in the Southeast sector. It seems that the American palate has, after decades of cultural blending, finally accepted the fact that spice is the variety of life. Whether you're a West Coaster incorporating some of the Schezuan fire into your diet or you've always loved the Cajun food from the Bayou, hot sauce is becoming a condiment every household and restaurant has on their table.

Home Construction

It's no surprise that NYC leads the country in new home construction -- but what you might not have known is that Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta are all in the top 10 cities for new home construction, with Miami's residential construction leaping an amazing 77% from 2012 to 2103.

Health Care

Health care is, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest-growing industry in the country, with registered nurses, personal care aides, and home health aides all in the top-5 fastest growing jobs in the country. The Southeast is no exception here. 

The Wonderful World of Small Businesses

If major corporations are moving operations of all kinds to the Southeast, you might think that there would be a commensurate flow in smaller businesses as well -- and you'd be right. Much like the ostensible disparity between quantum vs. traditional physics, the world of business looks very different and very strange when you get into the realm of the super-small, but it's still good news for anyone looking for a job. 

The kinds of small businesses that are growing rapidly in the Southeast will surprise you:

  • Online insurance brokers are expected to grow by a whopping 14%.
  • Folks who install artificial grass turf can expect a 13% increase in aggregate business over the next year.
  • If you want to sell, you have two excellent options: online sales of industrial supplies is expected to rise 9%, and so is online sales of household furniture.
  • Finally, environmental consulting -- teaching businesses how to run 'green' -- has a predicted growth rate of very nearly 9% as well.

Small businesses across the Southeast are rising rapidly right now with the help of micro-loans, the expansion of credit unions, and the government policies that encourage new entrepreneurs to give their cherished idea a try. Nearly 60% of the Southeast's workers are employed by small businesses; if you're trying to replace a lost corporate job, it may benefit you to consider the possibilities of working for someone significantly smaller. 

There are a lot of excellent reasons someone might want to come to the Southeast right now. It's a great place to find a job, among other things. Whether you're looking for a permanent place in Miami or apartments for rent in Atlanta from, there's a plenty of space, plenty to do in terms of interesting work and occupations, and plenty of Southern hospitality to go around. 

Now it's time to have your say: What has your experience been with various Southeastern industries? Have you had any success in a particular one, or have you noticed growth in an industry that isn't on this list? Let us know in the comments below. 

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: Markets


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