Insurance giant MetLife Inc. recently announced it will be transitioning some 2,600 jobs from five Northeastern states and California to new U.S. retail and technology hubs in North Carolina.

The company’s decision means many of the workers in affected offices will either have to look for different jobs or apply for new MetLife positions in North Carolina or other locations.

But for some MetLife employees in Massachusetts, they will now be able to stay in their hometowns and still keep their current positions even if their office closes.

The MetLife office in Lowell, Mass., is one of the locations slated to close as part of this transition. But the company spokesman told Insurance Journal that most Lowell employees will now be working from home, though some jobs in Lowell are being eliminated. According to Lowell’s official municipal website, MetLife’s Auto & Home Insurance unit had more than 200 employees in Lowell as of 2011.

Also, “some, but not the majority, of employees in Boston will also be working from home, while some will move to a new location in Boston, and some jobs are moving to North Carolina,” said MetLife spokesman Jon Calagna. No other Northeast city has similar work from home situations.

MetLife stated that overall, offices in Somerset, N.J., and Lowell, Mass., will close doors. Offices in Bloomfield, Conn., and Johnstown, Penn., as well as those in Boston and Warwick, R.I., will see headcount reductions. In California, all employees at the Aliso Viejo location will now be working at a nearby office in Irvine, while some current employees in Irvine will be relocating out of the state. MetLife didn’t have specific breakout numbers for affected workers from each location.

MetLife said it expects to invest, or cause to be invested, $125.5 million in North Carolina to create hubs for its U.S. retail business in Charlotte and for its global technology and operations organization in the Raleigh suburb of Cary. Positions in North Carolina will include product management, marketing, sales and customer support in Charlotte and information technology positions in Cary focused on delivering global services to support MetLife and its customers. MetLife currently employs some 23,000 U.S. administrative workers in 30 locations, mostly in the Northeast.

(Reported by Young Ha, the East Coast editor of Insurance Journal, a Wells Media sister publication.)