NC in Focus: Workforce & Economic Development Issues

The Labor & Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) at the North Carolina Department of Commerce has a new blog, the LEAD Feed, devoted to helping individuals and organizations better understand the workforce and economic development in our state.

Launched in mid-September, the blog has averaged 2 to 3 posts per week across a diverse range of topics, such as the potential impact of Russia’s ban on U.S. pork on North Carolina’s exports and the impact of e-commerce on traditional storefronts. Because population trends impact the economy (and vice versa), many of the posts have a strong demographic focus. In this vein, I found two posts particularly interesting; here are some selected graphics and quotes, click on the post title to read the original posts in their entirety (something I highly recommend you do!):

  1. Rise of the Mega Counties: How Wake and Mecklenburg Are Reshaping the Economic Geography of NC

    “The first thing to note is that Wake and Mecklenburg counties, which in recent history have been disproportionately high earning, now employ a much larger share of all workers. The changing geographic distribution of employment in the state — led by these two outliers — can account for a small portion of the average wage growth seen overall in North Carolina since 1993 (and a large portion of growth in average wages seen since 1999.)”Rise of High Earning Wake and Mecklenburg
  2. Millennials Approach Boomers as North Carolina’s Largest Cohort 
    “The big question for labor market watchers will be, as the Boomers retire and the Millennials constitute a larger share of the population, will these younger workers start to play a greater role in the workforce? …Potential explanations for the Millennials’ failure to launch run the gamut from cyclical economic weakness (insufficient job growth), to rising education demands, to increased competition for entry-level positions from both low-skill and high-skill workers. Further clarifying the reasons for this gap will be essential to formulating an effective workforce development strategy for North Carolina’s changing population.”

    Millennials Failure to Launch

About Rebecca Tippett

Rebecca Tippett is Director of Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill's Carolina Population Center.
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