NC Budget and Tax Center

Weak job growth slows down recovery across many North Carolina metros

An important measure of a positive jobs report is whether progress is being made in creating enough jobs to recover all the jobs that were lost during the Great Recession. By this measure, however, today’s jobs report from the Division of Employment Security reveals that too many of the state’s metro areas are falling behind.

Despite falling unemployment rates, most of North Carolina’s metro areas are not creating jobs fast enough to fill this jobs hole. Five years into the current recovery, ten out of the state’s 14 metro areas have yet to reclaim the jobs lost during the recession, and it will take six of them more than a decade to create enough jobs to return to pre-recession levels at the current rate of employment growth. In one metro—Rocky Mount—it will take almost a century to get back to pre-recession employment levels at the current pace of job creation.

As long as some metros continue to lag behind, the state’s overall economic recovery will continue to struggle, despite a falling unemployment rate.

Follow me below the fold for a summary of each metro’s job creation record over the last year:

  •  Asheville saw the number of jobs grow by 3,600 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro until the end of 2014 to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Burlington saw the number of jobs grow by just 300 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro at least 13 years to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Charlotte-Gastonia created 17,600 jobs over the past year and is one of the few metro areas in the state that has created enough jobs to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Durham-Chapel Hill created 4,400 jobs over the past year and is one of the few metro areas in the state that has created enough jobs to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Fayetteville did not create any new net jobs over the last year, and until the metros experiences positive job creation, it will be impossible to replace all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Goldsboro saw the number of jobs grow by just 700 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro almost 3 years to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Greensboro-High Point saw the number of jobs grow by just 900 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro 29 years to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Greenville saw the number of jobs grow by 1,600 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro until the end of 2014 to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton saw the number of jobs grow by just 1,000 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro 17 years to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Jacksonville actually lost net jobs over the last year. Fortunately, the metro has already replaced all of the jobs lost during the recession, although another year of job losses may reverse these gains.
  • Raleigh-Cary created 22,200 jobs over the past year and is one of the few metro areas in the state that has created enough jobs to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Rocky Mount saw the number of jobs grow by just 100 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro almost a century (95 years) to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Wilmington saw the number of jobs grow by 3,900 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro until the end of 2014 to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.
  • Winston-Salem saw the number of jobs grow by just 600 since April 2013, and at this rate of job creation, it will take the metro 19 years to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession.

We are just not seeing robust job creation across the entire state. Five years into the current recovery, only a handful of metros are creating jobs fast enough to completely replace to the jobs they lost during the Great Recession.

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