NPR

As Employment Rises, African American Transplants Ride Jobs Wave To The South

At a time of low unemployment for African Americans, educated, well-connected professionals are starting new lives in cities such as Charlotte, N.C.
Brittany Smith and her daughter at their home. The family has flourished in Charlotte. Two years ago, Smith and her husband bought a custom-built house and both found new work opportunities. Source: Swikar Patel for NPR

Brittany Smith grew up mostly in Detroit, earning a master's degree in public health from the University of Michigan. But when she and her then-boyfriend, Sam, began their careers, they ran into roadblocks. It was 2013, and Detroit was still struggling from the effects of the Great Recession. Sam Smith couldn't find full-time work. His job as a college career counselor wrapped when the campus where he worked shut down.

They began looking for an out.

"We were looking at what cities are growing for young professionals, and Charlotte was always one of the top five," says Smith, now 32.

So they picked up and moved to Charlotte, N.C., where the couple has done well. Two years ago, they bought a custom-built house.They had aAnd Sam found work as a university career adviser.

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