Labor Market Report Spring 2014

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1 Industry Composition (top five by percentage of total industry employment) Retail 12.8% 10,350 workers Manufacturing 18.2% 14,683 workers Labor Market Report Spring 2014 Government 18.2% 14,651 workers Health Care Social Assistance 18.2% 9,587 workers Accomodation Food Service 8.1% 6,553 workers Top 3 industries gained the most jobs Administrative Support, Waste Management Redemption Services 32% Accomodations Food Services 13% Top 3 industries lost the most jobs Retail Trade 5% Wholesale Trade -25% Construction -34% Manufacturing -30% 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate by Local Education Agency (LEA) Source: NC Dept of Public Instruction Chatham County Schools Harnett County Schools Lee County Schools Sampson County Schools North Carolina Page 1 of 13

2 The report is broken into two sections: I. An Economic Scan of the Triangle South Workforce Development Board (TSWDB) region to evaluate its demographic and economic trends II. A SWOT Analysis to identify key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the region ECONOMIC SCAN This section provides a general overview of the demographic, economic and labor market conditions and trends for the TSWDB region as well as the region s four counties - Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Sampson. The data analyzed in the Economic Scan provide an understanding of the region s strengths and assets as well as the current economy. The Economic Scan is built around a set of indicators listed below: Demographic Trends o Population Growth o Age Distribution o Income Level Economic Trends o Industry Mix o Labor Force o Occupations o Commuting Patterns Human Capital o Education Attainment ohigh School Graduation Rate TSWDB At a Glance The Triangle South Workforce Development Board region includes Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Sampson Counties. The table below summarizes key data points that will be discussed further throughout this report. Page 2 of 13

3 Demographic Trends This assessment of TSWDB region s demographic trends serves as a snapshot of the population dynamics shaping the region. TSWDB 7% Population in the Triangle South Workforce Development Board (TSWDB) grew 7% or almost 21,000 people between two periods: and Population Growth The region s population grew 7% (or 21,000) between the two periods: and while the state saw a 9% increase during the same periods. Harnett County has the largest population, responsible for nearly 40% of the region s total population. According to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Harnett ranked as the 78th fastest-growing county in the nation. The Dunn micropolitan area of Harnett County, added more residents than any other micro area in the nation. The population growth rate in Chatham County outpaced other counties in the region and doubled the state s growth rate between the 2000 and periods. The county s population growth has since slowed down significantly. The population in Sampson County grew very slowly, adding approximately 660 people between 2005 and 2012 Page 3 of 13

4 Age Distribution The region s age distribution is similar to the state s and is trending older as indicated by the increased share of population aged 45 years and above. During the period, this specific age group made up nearly 40% of the region s total population, an increase of 4 percentage points from the previous period. Compared to its peers in the region, Chatham County had the largest population in this age group (50%). The young cohort of age 25 to 44 accounted for over one quarter (26%) of the region s population. The counties in the region also followed a similar trend, except Chatham (23%). Across the region, Harnett County had the highest proportion of people under age 45, representing two-thirds of its total population during the period. Income Median Household Income Median household income levels in the Triangle South s counties vary notably. Chatham County had the highest median household income in the region, 23% higher than the state average and nearly 50% higher than Sampson County. In real terms (adjusted for inflation), the median annual household income levels for the Triangle South s counties have been generally lower in recent years than before the Great Recession. One exception was Harnett County, in which the real median household income was higher in 2012 than in 2007, an increase of $1, The inflation adjustments to the median household income were made using the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Index produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The core PCE price index measures the prices paid by consumers for goods and services without the volatility caused by movements in food and energy prices to reveal underlying inflation trends. Page 4 of 13

5 The region s median household income adjusted for inflation reached its latest peak in 2008 and started to slide in It fell about 10% for Lee County after its 2008 peak, 9% for Chatham, 7% for Sampson and 8% for the state. Family Income Distribution Overall, family income in the region and the state shares similar distribution patterns for each income level. Family income distribution varies in the Triangle South s counties: o More than one quarter (28%) of families in Chatham County had family income over $100,000, significantly higher than the state and the other three counties in the region. o The three counties in the region had a higher concentration of family income between $15,000 and $34,999 than Chatham County, same as the state. Page 5 of 13

6 Economic Trends This section highlights economic trends in the region, including composition of the existing employment base, growing and declining industries, wages, and occupations. This information will set a foundation for exploring different industry niche sectors that will be important for the region to build upon. Current Industry Mix (2013) Employment in the region covers a mix of industry sectors with strong concentration on Manufacturing and Government - each was responsible for nearly one-fifth (18%) of the region s total employment. Under the Government sectors, Education and Hospitals (Local Government) had the largest employment (8,000), distantly followed by Local Government (3,500) which excludes Education and Hospitals. Among the Manufacturing sectors, Animal Slaughter and Processing accounted for the largest employment (2,800), followed by Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing (1,300). The Industry Mix table on next page provides a comparison of industry employment and earnings between the region and the state. o Average industry annual earnings in the region were about $14,000 less than the state s average, with noticeable earning difference ($27,800) in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting was the only sector with industry earnings above the state s average as the region had a significantly higher concentration of Animal Production. Industry Composition (top five by percentage of total industry employment) Retail 12.8% 10,350 workers Government 18.2% 14,651 workers Manufacturing 18.2% 14,683 workers Health Care Social Assistance 18.2% 9,587 workers o The region s two primary sectors Manufacturing and Government both had a larger share of employment compared to the state. Accomodation Food Service 8.1% 6,553 workers o Half of the top ten largest industries in the region paid workers with above average industry s earnings ($41,454). However, these industries were also sectors that had experienced job losses statewide and nationally (except Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services). The report will further explore job loss and gain by detailed industry. Page 6 of 13

7 Industry Job Loss and Gain Between 2007 and 2013, the region s employment has decreased by about 8,000 net jobs with manufacturing responsible for the largest job loss. Looking at the detailed industries, job loss disproportionately affected across various sectors with largest share in Animal Slaughtering and Processing (lost 2,200 jobs) as well as well as Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (-1,400). Among the non-manufacturing sectors, industries related to building equipment and building contractors experienced the highest job loss (-480), followed by Warehousing and Storage (-450). Top 3 industries lost the most jobs Wholesale Trade -25% Manufacturing -30% Construction -34% Page 7 of 13

8 During the same period, the region saw employment increase in multiple sectors. Overall at the 2-digit industry level, Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services had the highest job gain. Within this sector, Janitorial Services and Temporary Help Services created the most jobs. Top 3 industries gained the most jobs Administrative Support, Waste Management Redemption Services 32% Accomodations Food Services 13% Though overall employment in Manufacturing experienced the largest decline in the region, Chemical Manufacturing has enjoyed steady growth since Most of the growth came from the three sub-sectors: Photographic Film, Retail Trade 5% Paper, Plate and Chemical Manufacturing (gained 773 jobs, the highest among all detailed industries), Toilet Preparation Manufacturing (481) as well as Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing (311). Of these, Photographic Film, Paper, Plate and Chemical Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing are the new emerging industries in the region. Wages The region s average weekly wages were the lowest compared to the neighboring workforce development board areas. All four counties in the region had average weekly wages below the state s average. Lee County enjoyed the highest average weekly wages in the region while Sampson County had the lowest. After adjusting for inflation, none of the counties experienced real wage growth between 2007 and 2013, while North Carolina saw a mere 3% increase. Industries with largest wage growth in the region o Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (a 22% increase between ) o Utilities (17%) o Information (16%) Industries with largest wage decline in the region o Educational Services (- 10% between ) o Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (-8%) o Retail Trade (-8%) Average Weekly Wage (After adjusted for inflation, the region s average weekly wage is below the state average) Q3, 2013: $ Q3, 2012: $ Q3, 2011: $ Q3, 2010: $ Q3, 2009: $ Q3, 2008: $ Q3, 2007: $ Page 8 of 13

9 Labor Force Since 2007, the region s labor force grew 2%, adding about 3,000 new workers, while the state saw 4% growth. However, during recent months, the region experienced a reduction in the labor force as more people dropped out of the labor force. Between 2007 and 2013, Chatham and Harnett Counties have seen growth in their labor force at 4% and 1%, respectively, while Lee and Sampson Counties both experienced declines. With the largest population in the region, Harnett County also had the largest labor force. Harnett was followed by Chatham, Sampson, and Lee Counties. 7% The region s unemployment rate in December 2013 dropped to its lowest point since 2008, but has not returned to pre-recession levels. All four counties in the region also experienced improvement 6.7% in unemployment in recent months. Though Lee County has the smallest labor force and fewest number of employed residents, the County s unemployment rate stood at 8.3% in December 2013 and remained the highest in the region, while Chatham had the lowest at 4.4%. Laborforce and Employed Unemployment Rate The region has seen its unemployment rate improved over the past months 9.1% 8.2% 7.5% 7.5% Page 9 of 13

10 Occupations with the Largest Job Growth The 15 occupations with the largest job growth represented over two-thirds (70%) of the total job gain from 2007 to Most of these occupations were in the service category with wages lower than the region s median wage. The occupation of Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers added the most jobs, a 14% increase over the period. There were about 3,000 Cashiers in the region, making this occupation the region s largest. Cashiers also had the most annual job openings (190) due to its high turnover rate. The majority of the top 15 growth occupations required little or no formal education or work experience with most of the training provided on the job. Occupations with the largest job growth (mostly in low-paying service sectors Combined Food Preparation Serving Workers (grew 364 jobs between ) Janitors Cleaners, except Maids Housekeeping cleaners (grew 338 jobs between ) Mixing Blending Machine Setters, Operators Tenders (grew 232 jobs between ) Cashiers (grew 217 jobs between ) Farmworkers Laborers, Crop, Nursery Greenhouse (grew 186 jobs between ) Occupations with the Largest Job Decline Between 2007 and 2013, the top 15 declining occupations accounted for more than one third (37%) of the employment losses in the region. Wages for these occupations were slightly higher because most workers in these occupations were employed in the manufacturing and construction sectors. The decline of Animal Slaughtering and Processing industry led to job losses in various production related occupations, especially Meat, Poultry and Fish Cutters and Trimmers as well as Slaughterers and Meat Packers. Among all the declining occupations, Slaughterers and Meat Packers had most annual job openings (100). Similar to the top 15 growth occupations, most workers in the declining occupations typically needed little or no formal education and received on-the-job training. Occupations with the largest job decline (mostly in manufacturing) Meat, Poultry Fish Cutters Trimmers (lost 475 jobs between ) Slaughterers Meat Packers (lost 441 jobs between ) Heavy Tractor-Trailor Truck Drivers (lost 377 jobs between ) Laborers, Freights, Stock Material Movers, Hand (lost 368 jobs between ) Team Assemblers (lost 335 jobs between ) Page 10 of 13

11 Commuting Patterns Where Workers Worked In 2011, more than half (61%) of the residents in the Triangle South WDB region worked outside the four-county area, an increase of 55% since Wake County employed the most residents in the Triangle South WDB region. In 2011, there were 19,059 residents who worked in Wake County, representing 19% of the total workers in the region. Wake County was followed by Lee County which attracted 13,926 (14%) residents in the region. These patterns represented a shift. In 2007, Lee County was the top work destination for Triangle South residents about 15.6% of residents worked in Lee County compared to 15.0% in Wake County. Where Workers Lived In terms of where employers in the Triangle South WDB region have obtained their talent, about 54% of the region s workers made their homes in one of the four counties in However, the number of workers from these counties fell since 2007, and there was an increase in the number of workers coming from counties outside the region (e.g., Robeson, Duplin, and Moore Counties). In 2007, 59% of people employed in Triangle South counties lived in one of the Triangle South counties, five percentage points higher than 2011 (54%). Some of the decline between 2007 and 2011 was due to job loss. Almost 6,000 fewer people (holding primary jobs ) worked in the Triangle South area in 2011 than in Page 11 of 13

12 Human Capital Education Attainment Educational attainment (for population 25 and above) has increased over time - a greater percentage of people have earned Bachelor s Degrees or higher in each of the Triangle South counties. Sampson County had the lowest educational attainment in the region. The county continues to have a static percentage (approximately 27%) of people with less than a high school degree. This is the highest percentage of people with low educational attainment among the four Triangle South counties. Chatham County consistently has the highest educational attainment of the four counties. Between 2010 and 2012, approximately 36% of its population over age 25 had a Bachelor s Degree or higher. High School Graduation Rates Across the region, all four counties saw an increase in the graduation rates over the past five years, with Lee County making the most improvement. Since the academic year, Lee County s graduation rate has exceeded the state average and rose at a higher rate than its peers in the region. During the academic year, Chatham County had nearly 69% of its high school graduates enrolled in the post-secondary education, followed by Harnett (59%), Sampson (56%) and Lee (53%). 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate by Local Education Agency (LEA) Source: NC Dept of Public Instruction Chatham County Schools Harnett County Schools Lee County Schools Sampson County Schools North Carolina Page 12 of 13

13 SWOT ANALYSIS STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS (SWOT) ANALYSIS This section of the report provides a broad overview of the factors that may affect the region s abilities for current and future growth and development. These factors are: Strengths: Characteristics that give the region the ability to advance current and future economic growth opportunities. Weaknesses: Characteristics that create barriers to limit the region s current and future growth opportunities. Opportunities: Assets, resources and trends that provide the region opportunities to grow. Threats: Assets, resources and trends that could make it difficult for the region to grow. STRENGTHS Low cost of doing business Skilled workforce in manufacturing Improvement in high school graduation rates Increased rates of higher educational attainment Strong concentration in Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing indicates the region s specialization and potential growth in this sector WEAKNESSES Employment growth concentrated in low-paying industries Top-employing industries concentrated on only two industries: manufacturing and government Relatively few jobs for those with an Associate Degree and above Declining industries with good paying jobs No wage growth between 2007 and 2013 OPPORTUNITIES New healthcare education/ training facilities New proposed industrial mega site can attract an automotive or OEM facility and bring jobs Proximately to Research Triangle Park and Fayetteville not only provides employment opportunities to the region but businesses in the region are able to take advantage of markets in both areas Local specialization in Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting may drive future growth Two community colleges in the region allow easy education coordination THREATS Local economy could become vulnerable without diversification High reliance on government jobs could be risky Employment loss in middle-wage industries (manufacturing and construction) replaced by low-wage service jobs Labor force grew at slower rate than the state Increased share of population aged 45 years and older may lead to aging workforce and shortage of skilled workers Page 13 of 13

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