The Lead Feed

Focus groups are a key tool for understanding business and industry needs in your region. In this article, we define the characteristics of focus groups and outline five tips for conducting them effectively. 

The State Fair has consistently attracted 10% of the state's population over the past 25 years even as the state's population has boomed.

IBM’s 2014 Global Location Trends report tracks the latest trends in corporate location decisions for new and expansion projects around the world.

Although it has faced rapid change and stiff global competition, The Old North State remains a national leader in furniture manufacturing.

The North Carolina Career Clusters Guide provides a new tool for the state's youth and adults to use to connect their interests and skills with occupations and with the training needed to enter those occupations.

Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released updates in commuting data from two different sources: Household Survey (American Community Survey or ACS) and Data from Employers (LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics or LODES). Since the data show numbers that some may feel tell conflicting stories, we briefly show differences between the two data sets and make suggestions for their use in comparable situations.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap tool has published its 2013 figures for commuting patterns. Here’s a look at what’s been happening with county commuting trends in North Carolina since 2003.

New report estimates the impact of the military on the North Carolina economy and details the state's large and important military presence, including its impacts on the private sector.

Significant increases in broadband availability have been achieved in recent decades; however, some groups have benefited more from these increases than others. The present article explores the digital divide in North Carolina. 

North Carolina’s unemployment rate has increased from a low of 5.3% in February to 5.8% in June.  What does this tell us about the state’s labor market?  This article explores several possible explanations and refutes some common myths about this emerging economic trend.

This past week, LEAD released its Star Jobs occupations, identifying promising occupations for North Carolininans. Star ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest), and are assigned based on wages, projected growth rate, and projected job openings.

Three of North Carolina’s metro areas get a lot of attention in the media these days: Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham. However, some of the state’s other cities have also been experiencing growth and improved prosperity over the last decade. So let’s take a look at some of North Carolina’s “other” metro areas in terms of population, job, and wage growth.

The Rural Center has expanded its system for classifying North Carolina’s counties to reflect the growing number of suburbanized counties in our state. This post looks at the Rural Center’s new county distinctions and points to a variety of other definitions used to designate rural areas of North Carolina.

Broadband impacts economic growth by creating jobs, boosting productivity among businesses, and driving increases in household income.

The relationship between where people work and where people live is one of many important factors to understanding your local economy. The U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap tool provides this and other data that is essential for local analysis.