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It’s well known that North Carolina is a growing state. But exactly which industries and regions are seeing the greatest growth?

NCFREE’s Business Development Dashboard has the answer. We’ve measured industry growth by increases in annual employee payroll, the total number of established businesses, and average employee count between the years 2012 and 2018 sourced from the United States Census Bureau.

NCFREE’s Take

North Carolina has seen significant increases in company payroll across the state and in a variety of growth industries, while also seeing statewide increases in the number of businesses and employees in most industries.

This makes sense, given North Carolina’s high population growth and high business ranking during this timeframe.

According to UNC’s Carolina Population Center, the state’s adult population grew by more than 12% in the 2010s, and much of this growth came from an influx of adults moving into North Carolina from outside the state.

Forbes ranked North Carolina as the No. 1 state to do business in 3 years in a row (2017-2019). It identified the state’s business-friendly regulatory environment, fourth-lowest business costs in the country, and ninth best labor supply as major reasons for its ranking.

As workers and businesses move into the state, you see this growth reflected in the Business Development Dashboard data. The Management of Companies and Enterprises grew dramatically, signaling a rise in corporate offices. Growth in industries like Real Estate and Rental and Leasing and Construction suggest the creation of new housing to accommodate more workers, business owners, and their families.

And most importantly, all this data is only the tip of the iceberg. There is much to explore within NCFREE’s Business Development Dashboard that will help highlight and outline the stories of North Carolina’s tremendous population and business growth in recent years.

For a Deeper Dive in the Data…

Below are the industries with the Top 3 greatest percentage growth in Annual Payroll, Total Establishments, and Average Employee Count in North Carolina’s urban, suburban, and rural counties:

Urban Counties

Annual Payroll

  • Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction – 113%
  • Educational Services – 111%
  • Construction – 68%

Total Establishments

  • Educational Services – 38%
  • Accommodation and Food Services – 28%
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation – 27%
  • Construction – 27%

Average Employee Count

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting – 46%
  • Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction – 42%
  • Construction – 34%

For this analysis, the state’s urban counties consist of Wake, Mecklenburg, Durham, Guilford, Forsyth, and New Hanover.

 Suburban Counties

 Annual Payroll

  • Management of Companies and Enterprises – 241%
  • Utilities – 104%
  • Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction – 95%

Total Establishments

  • Educational Services – 44%
  • Real Estate and Rental and Leasing – 26%
  • Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services – 25%
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation – 25%

 

Average Employee Count

  • Management of Companies and Enterprises – 38%
  • Construction – 30%
  • Real Estate and Rental and Leasing – 25%

Rural Counties

Annual Payroll

  • Management of Companies and Enterprises – 372%
  • Utilities – 353%
  • Educational Services – 206%

 

Total Establishments

  • Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services – 28%
  • Educational Services – 26%
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 24%

Average Employee Count

  • Management of Companies and Enterprises – 83%
  • Utilities – 46%
  • Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction – 38%

 

Stay tuned for more!

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