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High Unemployment Cited In St. Louis’ MetLife Defeat

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Charlotte, North Carolina
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Why did Charlotte, North Carolina beat out St. Louis for 2,600 high-paying MetLife jobs?

Steve Johnson, Executive Vice President of the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the decision was not about incentive packages or the quality of the work force but rather about the ability to put a work force together in a very short period of time.

“They put the 1,000 divisional jobs in Charlotte where there is just a pretty high unemployment rate among the financial services sector and they put the IT operations 160 miles away,” he said. North Carolina’s unemployment rate is 9.5 percent.

Johnson said coming to St. Louis would have meant “tapping a single labor shed too heavily.” North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory previously worked for the firm which hired MetLife to help broker the deal but Johnson declined to comment on that.

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