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Introducing NC’s 2028 Employment Projections by Industry

The Labor & Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) of the North Carolina Department of Commerce has recently produced long term employment projections for the 2018-2028 period. We plan to have several short blogs to provide highlights of the findings.

This first summary will look at the overall projections with a focus on industry employment changes.

In general, what does the future look like?

In total, North Carolina is projected to gain about 302,000 jobs through 2028, reflecting an annual growth rate of 0.61%, slightly lower than the 2008-2018 annual growth rate of 0.77% but higher than the national projected growth rate of 0.52%.

What industries are driving this growth?

Projected employment growth in North Carolina will come mostly from service-providing industries, though goods-producing industries are also projected to grow modestly. This mirrors national trends. Figure 1 shows the projected employment growth by industry. Of the 302,000 jobs projected to grow, about 89% of them will come from Service-Providing Industries such as Health Care & Social Assistance, Accommodation & Food Services, and Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services. The employment growth from the Goods-Producing Industries almost exclusively comes from Construction.

Manufacturing employment is projected to decline modestly, but not as much as the nation as a whole.  In North Carolina, Manufacturing is projected to decline by about 19,300 jobs, or at an AGR of -0.41% compared to the U.S. AGR of -0.52%.  The largest employment losses in the state’s manufacturing industries are projected to occur in Textile Mills (-6,600), Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing (-3,000), and Apparel Manufacturing (-2,300).  These projected job losses will partially be offset by the projected job growth in Food Manufacturing (+1,100), Transportation Equipment Manufacturing (+800), and Machinery Manufacturing (+100). Projected job loss in manufacturing reflects declines in manufacturing employment in North Carolina since 1990.  While manufacturing has seen modest employment growth since 2010, it continues to face increasing global competition not to mention automation.

Additional resources for the 2018-2028 Employment Projections can be found from the links below:

•    Projection Summary: North Carolina Employment Projections 2018-2028
•    Impact of COVID-19 pandemic and response efforts on the NC Employment Projections
•    Projections Data by Industry and Occupation
Source: Rosenthal, Jeff. North Carolina Department of Commerce, 5 October, 2020. ” Introducing NC’s 2028 Employment Projections by Industry.”