MEDIA RELEASE: North Carolina experiences uneven job growth

 

Charlotte, Triangle, and Triad continue to leave rest of state behind
 
RALEIGH (Aug. 24, 2012) -- North Carolina’s job creation continued to spread unevenly across many of the state’s counties in July, according to newly released data from the Division of Employment Security. Most of the improvement in the state’s jobs picture in the three years since the end of the Great Recession is concentrated along the I-95 corridor and especially in the most populous metro areas in the Triangle, the Triad, and Charlotte.
 
Last month, 53 counties saw their unemployment rates increase or stay stagnant. While this is certainly troubling, analysts say, some of this may be due to seasonal fluctuations in hiring patterns—which local-level data does not account for—and the long-term picture is somewhat better: 94 counties saw their unemployment rates fall over the year. 
 
“While the labor market is clearly experiencing some late-summer sluggishness, the longer-term concern for North Carolina is the wide disparities in job growth across the state,” said Allan Freyer, Policy Analyst with the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center.  “Since the end of the Great Recession three years ago, the Triangle, Triad, and Charlotte have experienced significantly better job growth than the rest of the state.  Perhaps even more importantly, the metros in these three regions alone account for virtually all of the state’s metro area job growth. “
 
Nonetheless, long-term gains since the end of the recession have largely benefitted only a few areas—98% of the 146,800 jobs created in North Carolina since June 2009 were generated in the state’s metro areas. Even more troubling, 83% of the jobs created in the metro areas were concentrated in just three regions—Charlotte (33% of jobs created in the state’s metro areas), the Research Triangle (32.8% of metro jobs), and the Piedmont Triad (17% of metro jobs.)  Taken together, the regions outside the I-95 corridor experienced only 17% of the state’s metro are job growth, and only 2% of the jobs created across the entire state.
 
“It will be critical as North Carolina recovers that all communities are part of that recovery,” said Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget and Tax Center. “That means making sure job opportunities are available to get people back to work across the state.”
 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Allan Freyer,  Policy Analyst, Budget & Tax Center, allan@ncjustice.org, 919-856-2151; Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center, alexandra@ncjustice.org, 919.861.1468;  Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615 (cell).
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