The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 1st

North Carolina economy on the rise, federal report says

UNC seniors looking to work in state after graduation got good news after a new report shows North Carolina as a top economic performer in both the Southeast and the nation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported North Carolina added 107,600 new jobs since September 2014. This was the 10th highest job growth rate in the country and about 25 percent higher than the national average. 

“We work with a lot of employers on a daily basis, and this year we just don’t have enough room in our office for the heavy recruiting periods,” said Sue Harbour, Careerolina's associate director of network partnerships. “We had to have a satellite office for interviews.” 

Harbour said job and internship offers plummeted in 2009 following the onset of the Great Recession, but since then there has been a steady uptick in companies attending job fairs and recruiting events. Harbour also said the technology, business, banking, finance and consulting sectors have consistently been the biggest employers on campus in recent years.

“These are organizations that are recruiting from all majors, not one particular major,” Harbour said. “Students need to show them they have the skills to do the job, and I think that’s the important thing.”

Although North Carolina is recovering well from the Great Recession, right-leaning John W. Pope Foundation President John Hood said the job market for students is still lagging on the whole. 

“If they were coming out of college in the mid-90s or mid-80s, they would have more job prospects,” Hood said. “The job market is clearly not as healthy as it was back in those days, but that is a national phenomenon.”

Mitch Kokai, a spokesperson for the John Locke Foundation, said a relatively healthy state economy could help Gov. McCrory in his bid for reelection in 2016, and it will also help house Republicans continue to pursue reforming the state tax code, increasing education options and reducing the regulatory burden on the state. 

“Those are the types of things that Republicans have been pursuing. Those are the types of things they’re going to keep pursuing, and I’m certain those are the types of things that Gov. Pat McCrory is going to be mentioning on the campaign trail,” Kokai said.

State budget cuts among other conservative policies under McCrory have garnered perpetual criticism from the left, and Hood says the newly released positive economic statistics for the North Carolina discredit those claims.

“Critics of McCrory, and the legislature alleged that if these conservative policies were implemented it would hurt North Carolina’s economy.” Hood said. “These were strange arguments to make at the time, and certainly today they don’t seem to have been borne out by the evidence.”


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