Textile Machine Operator: NC’s “most unique” job is not a common one

North Carolina had nearly 9 times as many textile machine operators than would be expected based on national averages, according to recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Georgia had more than 10 times as many textile machine operators than would be expected. In these two Southern states, the relatively high concentration of these jobs—as compared to national averages—reflects historical economic patterns that persist today. Nationwide, just over 75,000…

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Educational Attainment and Unemployment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly publishes national unemployment rates by educational attainment for the highest degree attained for workers 25 and older. This analysis typically uses the Current Population Survey (CPS) data. Unfortunately, the CPS data are too small to provide high quality estimates for unemployment rates by educational attainment for individual states. Thankfully, there are multiple federal sources of statistical information available. The large sample size of the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American…

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Male- and Female-Dominated Occupations, 2013

By on 3.16.15 in Economic Data

Nearly 4.5 million North Carolinians age 16 and older reported working in the 2013 American Community Survey. Of these, nearly three quarters, or 3.3 million, were of prime working age (25-64) and working full-time (defined here as 30 hours of work per week or more). Women made up 46% of North Carolina’s full-time employed population of prime working age. Although many occupations are increasingly integrated with respect to sex composition, a large number of occupations…

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NC in Focus: Craft Breweries

By on 3.12.15 in Economic Data

Craft breweries are small, independent, and traditional, according to the definition given by the Brewers Association. This means that they produce fewer than 6 million barrels of beer annually, are not controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member, and predominantly brew beers that are made with traditional ingredients and flavor profiles. Although overall U.S. beer sales were down 1.9% in 2013, craft beer sales increased by 17.2%, driven in part by a steady increase in…

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Impact of Off-Campus College Students on Local Poverty Rates

Colleges and universities can exert significant impacts on the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of community populations. This is often self-evident in “college towns” such as Chapel Hill, where college students make up a large portion of the population. But, as Alemayehu Bishaw notes in a recent report for the U.S. Census Bureau, “even in large cities, a big student population living off-campus can impact [economic] indicators” such as the poverty rate. College students typically live in…

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NC in Focus: Employment in 3 Industries, 1850-2010

By on 2.19.15 in Economic Data

In the mid- to late-1800s, four out of every five North Carolina workers was employed in agriculture. Although agriculture and agricultural products remain vital to the state's economy, agricultural employment declined steadily through the late 20th century. At the same time, manufacturing emerged as a dominant employment sector, officially surpassing agriculture as the leading employment sector in North Carolina in 1950. Manufacturing employment in the state was at its highest between 1970 and 1980, and…

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NC in Focus: Top Employer by County, 2014 (Q2)

According to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the 10 largest employers in the state of North Carolina are universities, hospitals, public schools, and banks. Duke University in Durham was the state’s largest employer in the 2nd Quarter of 2014, followed by Charlotte Mecklenburg Hospital and Wake County Public Schools. The Triangle’s other major research institutions—UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University—were the 4th and 8th largest employers in the state, respectively. Four of the 10 largest…

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Metropolitan Area Economic Output, 2013

“More and more, the U.S. economy is defined by its metropolitan areas,” writes Richard Florida at The Atlantic’s CityLab blog. Just over 90% of the nation’s economic activity occurs in metro regions. In North Carolina, the state’s 15 major metropolitan regions also comprised the majority of economic activity, but at a level less than the national share. In 2013, the state’s combined metro GDP was $407 billion out of a total GDP of $471 billion.…

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If US states were countries, NC would be the world’s 35th largest economy

Gross domestic product or GDP captures the market value of all goods or services produced within a country (or other defined region) in a given year. Put another way, GDP = Personal Consumption + Business Investment + Government Spending + (Exports – Imports) In 2013, the United States had a GDP of nearly $17 trillion – the largest GDP for a single country in the world. To put this in perspective, the U.S. GDP is…

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NC in Focus: Christmas Trees & Poinsettias

By on 12.18.14 in Economic Data

“What many people don’t know about North Carolina is that we sell the largest number of Christmas trees of any state on the Eastern seaboard. In 2012, our growers cut nearly 4.3 million Christmas trees. Only Oregon growers cut and sold more trees that year.” – Dee Webb, Celebrating Old North State Agriculture From Thanksgiving turkeys and sweet potatoes to Christmas trees and poinsettias, North Carolina farmers have your holiday needs covered. Not only that,…

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