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Throughout much of the Twentieth Century, North Carolina’s employment base rested largely on the state’s legacy manufacturing industries of textile, tobacco, and furniture.  But given the vulnerability of these industries to offshoring, plant closures, and mass layoffs, did over-reliance on these industries prior to the Great Recession actually leave North Carolina’s metro areas susceptible to high unemployment after the recession?

See last week’s ProsperityWatch (here or below the fold) for a discussion of the role played by pre-recession manufacturing specialization in explaining the different experiences of the state’s metro areas during the post-recession recovery.

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According to new labor market data from the NC Employment Security Commission, North Carolina’s small cities— defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as “micropolitan regions” consisting of 10,000 to 50,000 people centered around an urban core—have unemployment rates significantly higher than the state’s.  These new numbers suggest that North Carolina’s sputtering economy is leaving these small cities largely behind.

See the newest edition of ProsperityWatch for more details.

[Post author: Allan Freyer]