The Lead Feed

Last November, we used data from the North Carolina Reentry Outcome Reporting System (NC-RORS) to highlight the employment outcomes of individuals exiting prison. This month, in recognition of Second Chance Month, we dive back into the data to reveal how post-prison job quality has changed in recent decades.

Recent years have seen a national uptick in vocational program enrollment, with a 16% increase last year in vocational-focused community colleges. This national trend is mirrored in North Carolina's Community Colleges, where enrollment highlights growing interest in Construction Technologies and Industrial Technologies programs.

In this edition of NC Economy Watch, we document recent developments on the supply side of the economy. The early years of the pandemic-era economy were characterized by excessive demand and inadequate supply, but more recently, we’ve seen an easing in supply chain conditions and an immigration-fueled expansion of the workforce, both of which have helped drive faster-than-expected economic growth.

Across the United States, a persistent surge in business applications has been a surprising feature of the COVID-era economy. Has this upswing in entrepreneurial activity been evident in North Carolina as well? This article explores the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Formation Statistics (BFS) data to describe the trend in application activity across North Carolina and its counties.

On this Equal Pay Day, it's crucial to reflect on the strides we've made toward gender pay equality. In this article, we'll take a look at a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report on women's earnings and investigate how North Carolina compares in gender pay equality in the southeast and in the nation.

In this edition of NC Economy Watch, we examine the employment data revisions just released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. These revisions show job growth in North Carolina slowing more than we initially thought, driven in part by downward revisions in Professional and Business Services. However, large upward revisions to Construction employment offer some cause for optimism in the year to come.

As we commemorate Equal Pay Day on March 12th, 2024, our focus turns to the enduring issue of wage disparity between men and women. Our latest analysis examines the wage divide across occupational groups in North Carolina.

After LEAD published our first article discussing ChatGPT, we have continued to learn and develop new insights that reshape our understanding of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and the workforce. Here are the top five things we have learned so far.

In this edition of NC Economy Watch, we review some of 2023’s key economic trends and speculate on how these trends might evolve in the year to come. Slower economic growth and lower price inflation have led to widespread expectation that interest rates will finally start to ease in 2024. We’ll be watching for signs of how far interest rates might fall and whether our economy will experience a soft landing, a hard landing, or no landing at all in the months ahead.

North Carolina’s population is getting older, a trend with the potential to reshape our economy and our workforce. In this article, we use data from the North Carolina Common Follow-up System (CFS) to show how older workers are faring in our state’s labor market.

In this edition of NC Economy Watch, we assess current conditions in the construction sector. Despite preliminary data showing a decline in construction jobs, most signs continue to depict a construction sector that is active and growing, driven in part by a surge of investment in factories and infrastructure.

How long do people commute for? Do people work where they live and vice-versa? In a two-part blog series, we seek to answer these questions using recent Census data.

The latest QCEW release gives us the most timely and detailed view of what’s happening across North Carolina’s industry sectors. This article looks at where jobs and wages have grown – and declined – over the past year, and how inflation has impacted assessment.

Every first and third Tuesday, starting at 11:30 am, our team of analysts and economic experts go “beyond the numbers” to explore emerging workforce trends, untapped opportunities, and growing career fields across NC. Join us for the LMI Tuesdays webinar series!

Following the COVID-19 recession, employment rates for individuals with disabilities hit record highs nationwide and in North Carolina, yet the exact reasons behind this sudden increase remain largely unresolved. In this article, we use American Community Survey (ACS) data to examine several proposed explanations for the surprising uptick in disability employment.