January 18, 2012
A recently released report states that the Charlotte region is expected to add new jobs in 2012 and that the area has gone from negative to positive job growth, and at a higher rate than many other major U.S. cities.
Although growth is expected, Charlotte won’t likely return to its pre-recession employment peak until 2014 or 2015, according to the report from the IHS Global Insight research firm, prepared for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The report on metro areas’ economies comes as about 300 mayors from around the country, including Charlotte’s Anthony Foxx, gathered in Washington, D.C., for their annual winter meeting, focusing on job creation. The group called on federal officials to help those still looking for work in a slow and uneven economic recovery.
IHS Global Insight’s analysis of 363 metro areas found the U.S. added more than 1.6 million jobs in 2011, growing 1.3 percent over 2010 after three straight years of net job losses. This year, the firm expects employment to grow 1.3 percent again, with the country recovering 48 percent of the jobs lost during the recession.
Job growth has varied widely among U.S. metro areas. Employment grew by more than 6 percent in Victoria, Texas, for instance, while jobs fell nearly 5 percent in Dalton, Ga., last year, the report found.
More than two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas saw employment grow more slowly than the national average in 2011, and 125 metros, or 34 percent, did not experience any net job growth last year. Just 26 metro areas have completely recovered the jobs they lost in the recession, IHS Global Insight found.
But 2012 appears brighter: All but three of the nation’s metro areas are expected to see job growth. By the end of the year, 52 regions will have completely recovered the jobs they lost, and 99 more will have recouped more than half of their losses, the report predicts.
Employment in the Charlotte region is expected to grow 2 percent this year, faster than the national average. But the region will have yet to recover more than 60 percent of the jobs it lost during the recession by the end of 2012.
IHS Global Insight found that the Charlotte metro area will likely return to peak pre-recession employment by 2014 or 2015 – well before many other metro areas, where jobs will remain below their pre-recession levels for five or more years.
Job growth across the country this year will come primarily from the education and health care, trade and transportation and professional and business services sectors, which will offset continued weakness in government and construction, the report found.
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