The Lead Feed

In this edition of NC Economy Watch, we dig into some fresh economic data releases to highlight three labor market trends: a declining rate of labor turnover; an elevated rate of working from home; and a record-high rate of job satisfaction (although with signs of trouble emerging).

Explore our findings on the importance of North Carolina's Portrait of a Graduate (POG) skills across education levels and career clusters. Learn how these durable skills, such as communication and adaptability, are valued in today’s workforce and discover their impact on wages and growth opportunities.

A new report from the NC Department of Commerce and NC State’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Best Practices for Growing Manufacturing in North Carolina, lays out a critical vision for North Carolina's manufacturing sector to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution driven by technologies like robotics, AI and data analytics. Supporting this technological transformation should be an economic imperative.

In this edition of NC Economy Watch, we analyze trends in North Carolina’s labor force participation rate. Labor force participation has been trending downward in North Carolina and nationwide for decades, driven primarily by shifting demographics. While the participation rate for younger workers in North Carolina has increased in recent years, the overall statewide labor force participation rate is likely to continue declining because our population is getting older, and older people are more likely to be retired.

This article examines industry differences in artificial intelligence (AI) adoption rates, specific applications, and expectations for employment changes across the nation. By understanding these trends, we aim to extrapolate insights relevant to North Carolina.

In January, we published an article examining the employment outcomes of older jobseekers. In this article, we use data from the North Carolina Common Follow-up System (CFS) to learn more about the conditions older workers experience after they lose their job, including their wage earnings and their sector of employment following layoff.

Explore the potential impact of artificial intelligence on North Carolina's business practices through our analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. This blog examines AI adoption rates, applications, and employment trends, offering insights into AI's potential effects on industry and workforce needs.

Our last edition of NC Economy Watch covered recent developments on the supply side of the economy. In this edition, we examine the recent softening in consumer spending and job availability. These trends have helped bring the supply- and demand-sides of the economy into a healthier balance, contributing to slower price inflation and helping keep the economy out of a recession.

Did the surge in new business applications lead to a subsequent surge in new employer businesses? Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Business Employment Dynamics (BED) and U.S. Census Bureau Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) programs, we find that employer entry did rise in North Carolina over the past few years, with firm births rising across multiple sectors. However, these recent trends must be viewed in the context of a multi-decade decline in business dynamism.

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.