First Quarter Jobs Number Shows Economy is Improving
 
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012
by Charlotte Chamber Research Department

The beginning of 2012 is evidence that Charlotte’s economy is moving in the right direction. In fact, this is the best first quarter for investment since 2008. The latest numbers from the Employment Security Commission indicate that county employment is up 2.4 percent from this time last year. Retail spending also continues to rise, and the retail trade and food service industries are taking advantage. These two sectors accounted for more than one-third of the number of new or expanded jobs and firms. Overall, the first quarter of 2012 resulted in 285 new or expanding firms producing 2,058 jobs, $313 million in investment and 1.8 million additional square feet. Construction on three speculative buildings began in the first quarter at Airport Commerce Center, Mallard Pointe and Northlake Commerce Center. This is one indicator that shows developers’ confidence in the recovery of the Charlotte economy.

The healthcare industry continues to lead the way in growth. Carolinas Healthcare System recently finished an expansion project in Pineville and announced two more free-standing emergency rooms; Presbyterian Hospital began renovating the E-wing and recently received approval to replace its orthopedic hospital.  Other companies of note this quarter include CoaLogix with an expansion of 211,250 square feet and $26 million, XPO Logistics with over 200 jobs, and Queens University with a new building of 147,000 square feet and $26 million. The first quarter of 2012 shows that Charlotte continues to be an attractive place to expand, invest and add jobs. However, there is still a ways to go before returning to pre-recession levels.

First Quarter Summary of New and Expanded Business

Year

Firms

Employment

Square Feet (millions)

Investment (millions)

2012

285

2,058

1.8

$312.9

2011

268

2,321

1.4

$127.6

2010

206

3,817

4.1

$279.5

2009

243

2,243

3.5

 $174.2

2008

282

3,016

6.1

$1,057.2

This quarterly report is available at the Chamber for $10.00 per copy or by subscription for $25.00 annually ($35.00 for non-members). For further information please call704-378-1300.

Prepared by: Tony Crumbley, Erin Watkins and Andrew Bowen



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