Economist Mike Walden: North Carolina’s Recent Growth

We now have job numbers in for all of 2017, although those for December may yet be revised.  But using the measures we now have, how did North Carolina’s improvement in 2017 compare to the nation’s as well as to the previous year?

  1. Using payroll jobs and comparing December to December, NC added 75,000 jobs in 2017, a 1.7% increase, compared to adding 94,000 jobs in 2017, a 2.2% gain
  2. So job growth slowed in NC in 2017 compared to 2016
  3. But same happened in the nation: nation added almost 200,000 fewer jobs in 2017 than in 2016, and growth rate went from 1.6% in 2016 to 1.4% in 2017
  4. So comparing NC’s job growth rate of 1.7% in 2017 to nation’s rate of 1.4%, we still did better than the nation
  5. Only have through 3rd quarter for GDP, so look at 3rd Q to 3rd Q
  6. Here the reverse happened – NC’s improvement in GDP was better in 2017 than in 2016 (2.4% compared to 2%), and in both years beat the nation
  7. Conclusion: job growth slowed because jobless rate is getting very low, but the gain in what NC produces picked up