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 then declined substantially. In the 2000 Census, professional services–a category that includes educational, engineering, legal, and medical services–surpassed manufacturing in share of total employment.
Read Our Newsletter
- Over the past decade, returns to postsecondary degrees have diminished nationwide and in NC
- NC: Improvements in on-time graduation rates for high schoolers, but still room for growth
- Census 2020: Everything you need to know about North Carolina’s hard-to-count communities
- NC in Focus: The Sex Gap in Postsecondary Attainment
- Rising Attainment Among North Carolina’s Degree-Earners
Tags2020 census age agriculture American Community Survey Baby Boomers births children commuting counties Current Population Survey decennial census diversity economy educational attainment employment foreign born immigration industry marriage migration millennials municipalities natural increase net migration North Carolina place of birth population aging population change population estimates population growth population projections projections race race/ethnicity reapportionment redistricting rural state by state U.S. Census Bureau U.S. House of Representatives urban urbanization USDA veterans young adults
This work by Carolina Demography is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.