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Triangle Economic Outlook Continues To Shine In 2014


The Economic Outlook for the Triangle continues to outpace the rest of the state.

The combined jobless rate for the Raleigh-Durham-Cary statistical area is 5.5 percent, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.  (By comparison, one year ago, the unemployment rate was almost two points higher. )

Here's the breakdown from N.C. State Economist Mike Walden. He expects final numbers will show the following:

  1. 2013: About 80,000 full -time jobs created in North Carolina
  2. 2014: 100,000 full time jobs will likely be created

"We do have a fairly good number of higher paying jobs being created, but we have a fairly high number of lower paying jobs being created," said Walden.  "What we’re really lacking is middle paying jobs.  I do think that will improve a little bit in 2014 with the increase in construction jobs."

What we are really lacking is middle paying jobs. I do think that will improve a little bit in 2014 with the increase in construction jobs. - N.C. State Economist Mike Walden

Walden says even with the housing market turning around, construction jobs have not come back yet. 

Recent numbers released by CoreLogic show housing prices have increased in the Triangle by 6 percent, compared to the same time a year ago.  (Nationally, housing prices are up by twice that much. )

Walden expects housing and other economic indicators to only get better across the state.

"If you look at where the growth is occurring in the state, first of all in terms of region, clearly the Triangle and Charlotte are heads and above the rest.  They have the fastest growth rates.  They are among the most dynamic metro areas in the country," said Walden.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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