Since 2013, the pro-growth vision shared by the North Carolina Chamber and many of our state’s leaders has helped secure a number of key economic reforms to launch North Carolina ahead of the pack in the 21st century global race for jobs. And as this recent News & Observer article explains, North Carolina’s economic engine is showing no signs of slowing down as our competitive business climate helped fuel the creation of 104,300 new nonfarm jobs over the past 12 months. That translates to an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent – well above the U.S. average growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2015.
While the new data indicates a clear, positive growth trend for North Carolina’s jobs climate, casual observers of the economy might wonder what to make of our 5.6 percent unemployment rate, which remains above the nation’s average jobless rate of 4.9 percent. However, as the N&O article suggests, North Carolina’s higher rate is actually a direct product of our attractive jobs climate. 16,842 more job seekers relocated to North Carolina in January (and a total of 86,051 throughout 2015). These new job seekers, attracted by the prospects of new career opportunities that can be found in our fast-growing economy, are the real reason behind our higher than average unemployment rate. That’s a story you almost certainly won’t hear about from special interest groups and the anti-growth opposition.
“It’s hard to speak ill of a report like this,” Richard Kaglic, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, is quoted as stating in the article. “North Carolina has been outperforming the nation as a whole. The gains have been broad-based across many industries.” As North Carolina’s economic engine keeps gaining steam, and our leaders make plans to grow jobs to accommodate the millions of new residents we will see flock to our state in the coming decades, the NC Chamber will continue to keep our foot on the gas to encourage those leaders to make sure North Carolina’s healthy business climate remains out in front of the competition.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber