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Leading on Solutions to Meet Job Growth Projections

As the NC Chamber Foundation works to ensure North Carolina creates 1 million new jobs by 2030, one of our key focuses is to measurably improve the quality and availability of in-demand talent, as measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dan Gerlach, economic advisor to the NC Chamber Foundation, provided insights on a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to help shape this month’s Foundation Forecast. The data continues to demonstrate that your NC Chamber Foundation is focusing its efforts in areas that will bring a measurable workforce return to North Carolina employers.

Meredith Archie
NC Chamber Foundation

Leading on Solutions to Meet Job Growth Projections

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released an estimate that the United States is projected to add 4.7 million jobs from 2022-2032. The release describes trends that affect the job growth rate and how fast or slow various industries and occupations are expected to grow.

To meet this increasing demand, the NC Chamber Foundation is laser-focused on ensuring North Carolina meets the Foundation’s Vision 2030 goal of creating 1 million new jobs by 2030. The Foundation has initiated strategic partnerships to measurably improve the quality and availability of in-demand talent, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report estimates that the health care and social assistance industry will account for 45% of estimated job growth over the next ten years.

North Carolina will play a significant role in that growth and the NC Chamber Foundation has partnered with the NC Center on the Workforce for Health to launch the NC Health Talent Alliance using the proven Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) approach to improve job recruitment and retention in the health care industry. The latest data shows that 13.5% of North Carolina workers and 13.8% of American workers are currently employed in this industry.

However, one sector alone cannot drive all the growth needed or wanted to allow North Carolinians to thrive. We must also work on maintaining industries that are not expected to grow as quickly, such as manufacturing.

A longtime bedrock of North Carolina employment, manufacturing still employs 10.36% of our workforce, compared to the national average of 8.4%. Moreover, manufacturing jobs are increasingly well paying with North Carolina’s average annual compensation in the field just over $79,500. When adjusted for inflation, the average North Carolina manufacturing worker in 1990 earned $972 per week in 2023 dollars, compared to the average of $1,306 per week today. That’s a 34% increase in real wages.

Given the importance of manufacturing to the state and the industry’s high and growing wages, the NC Chamber Foundation plans to initiate the TPM program in manufacturing within the next five years. It is a natural fit with the NC Chamber serving as our state’s exclusive state affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers.

Our state has outpaced the nation in economic growth for years, but if we want to ensure continued success, we cannot be complacent on the quality and quantity of our workforce, aligned with job opportunities in meaningful, growing industries.

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