Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Where are all these millennials coming from?

You only have to visit a brewery or walk down the Rail Trail on a Saturday to know that young people love Charlotte. An analysis from Smart Asset recently noted that Charlotte was the number 1 city for net millennial in-migration. According to that report, the city added nearly 11,000 20-to-34-year-olds in 2015. But from where are all those millennials moving? A better question might be; "where are they not coming from?" The map below shows the top metro areas for net in-migration of millennials to the Charlotte area. 

Large cities and college towns were heavily represented among top metros for movement into the Charlotte MSA, demonstrating our region's ability to attract young talent. 


Select origin MSAs for millennial in-migration to Charlotte MSA 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau MSA-to-MSA migration flows, 2011-2015


MSA Moving to Charlotte MSA Moving out of Charlotte MSA Net millennial migration
New York MSA 2,592 833 1,759
Columbia, SC MSA 1,790 951 839
Philadelphia MSA 653 238 418
Charleston, SC MSA 828 482 346
Atlanta MSA 1,099 786 313
Hartford, CT MSA 252 0 252
Los Angeles MSA 453 258 205
Greenville, SC MSA 895 692 203
St. Louis MSA 286 109 177
Dallas MSA 276 130 146


Posted by: Chuck McShane @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, August 17, 2017
44 Charlotte-area companies make 2017 Inc. 5,000 list

Forty-four of the nation’s fastest growing companies, ranging from consultancies to craft brewers, call the Charlotte area home, according to the 2017 INC 5000 released Wednesday.

While Charlotte software companies such as AvidXchange, PCI Group, Tresata and Imagine Software appeared on the list, it was a solar construction company Power Home Solar at the top in the Charlotte area. At No. 96 nationwide, Power Home Solar reported a whopping 3,943 percent revenue growth over the three-year period from 2014 through 2016. Other construction industry companies on the list included Spangler Restoration at No. 608, Southend Exteriors at 2,541, and 1st Choice Construction Management at 3,478.

Human resources, another industry helping Charlotte area businesses cope with regional growth, had five companies make the list, topped by Search Solutions Group at No. 955 and AccruePartners and No. 3,082. Consulting companies showed up strong with eight in the Charlotte area making the list. Torrent Consulting led that category at No. 261 after reporting 1,657 percent growth and $5.8M in revenue.

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery found its way onto the list for the first time at No. 1,465, reporting 277 percent growth and $11.6 million in annual revenue. Also in the food category, Hissho Sushi, a southwest Charlotte food manufacturer, made the list for the ninth time reporting 141 percent growth and $122.1 million in annual revenue.

Among the newcomers to the list, South Park-based Quimbee, an online application helping law school students study, came in at No. 475 after reporting 937 percent growth and $2.4 million in revenue. 

Explore the Charlotte Chamber’s interactive dashboard and map for more information about these fast-growing companies.

Posted by: Chuck McShane, Director, Business Analytics & Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Monday, July 24, 2017
A Tale of Two Tech Markets: Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte

CBRE’s recent ranking of the Charlotte as the top metro for growth in tech talent comes as little surprise to us at the chamber. Growth in the technology sector has been a major component of Charlotte’s recovery from the recession. As the CBRE report notes, key technology occupations grew by more than 77 percent in the Charlotte metro area between 2011 and 2016. In raw numbers, that’s 21,690 new tech jobs.

What’s surprising? The Raleigh-Durham area added 1,000 fewer technology jobs than Charlotte during this time period.

To be fair, Raleigh-Durham’s tech talent pool is still quite a bit larger (around 60,000) than Charlotte’s (around 49,000), and tech accounts for a higher percentage of workforce (6.9 percent in Raleigh versus 4.3 percent in Charlotte), but the fact that Charlotte is catching up is news to be celebrated, and underscores how technological innovation is reshaping the business world and even the most highly regulated industries.

Financial technology, or FinTech, has become a new buzzword in Charlotte and with good reason. Homegrown startup success stories like AvidXchange and LendingTree, have given this growing industry cluster a lot of exposure lately (See more in our Financial Services white paper here).

A closer look at the workforce in the two markets shows more than double the concentration of FinTech talent in Charlotte, nearly 11 percent of the tech workforce versus 4.3 percent in Raleigh-Durham. In addition, headquarters tech talent is much stronger in Charlotte. While the two markets stack up similarly in traditional tech industries such as professional services and information, Raleigh-Durham has a larger technology manufacturing sector, growing out of the several research universities in the area.

The study also points to Charlotte’s “brain gain” in the tech sector. While area colleges and universities awarded nearly 5,000 tech degrees during the 2011-2016 time period that was only enough to fill less than 25 percent of the available tech jobs. The rest had to be recruited from elsewhere. While Charlotte benefits from this influx of talent, efforts are underway to improve the pipeline of homegrown tech talent.


Top five sectors for tech talent, Charlotte vs. Raleigh-Durham





Percentage of tech workforce

Percentage of tech workforce

Professional Services









Finance and Insurance






   Source: JobsEQ, Q1 2017

Posted by: Chuck McShane, Director, Business Analytics & Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, July 14, 2017
Fast Growing Companies in the Charlotte Region

INC Magazine ranks the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the country by 3-year self-reported revenue growth rates. In the Charlotte area, 44 companies cracked the INC 5,000 list in 2016. Check out our interactive dashboard for more information on each of these fast-growing companies. Look for the 2017 list some time in August. 

Posted by: Riley Jones - UNC Charlotte Levine Scholar and Charlotte Chamber Summer Data Volunteer @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, July 6, 2017
The "Missing Middle" in N.C. and Charlotte's Growth Story

A couple of articles about the North Carolina economy caught my eye this week. First, the good news: Charlotte's job growth in 2016 - 3.7 percent - tied with Salt Lake City as the No. 4 fastest growing job market. However, another study from North Carolina State University economist Michael Walden found "middle-class" jobs - those paying between $45,000 and $69,000 - had declined in North Carolina between 2001 and 2015, while both low and higher-wage jobs in the state had increased at rates greater than the national average. 

Concern about middle wage jobs and the "hollowing out" of the American economy is nothing new. As this 2016 report from the Pew Research Center notes, the share of Americans living in middle income households has declined since the 1970s.  Walden's study points to North Carolina being particularly hard hit because of historical reliance on middle-wage jobs in textile and furniture manufacturing, which have seen declines due to automation and offshoring. A few months after the release of research from Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Economic Mobility Taskforce, aimed at improving residents' chances of moving up the economic ladder, it seems like a good time to take stock of the wage distribution among jobs in the Charlotte area.  

Data from JobsEQ for the first quarter of 2017 lends some support to Walden's conclusions, though it uses slightly different wage categories. While nearly 21 percent of all jobs nationwide pay between $50,000 and $74,999, only about 16 percent of jobs in the Charlotte metropolitan area pay in that range.

Higher- and lower-paying job distributions vary by geography, with urban areas accounting for the lion's share of higher-paying jobs. In Mecklenburg County, 21.5 percent of jobs pay greater than $75,000. That's more than the national rate of 15.1 percent. In North Carolina as a whole, however, only 11.8 percent of all jobs pay more than $75,000.  At the highest end, 6.5 percent of all Meckleburg County jobs pay more than $125,000, compared to 3.8 percent in North Carolina as a whole and 2.7 percent nationwide. 

In terms of lower-paying jobs, 61.1 percent of jobs in Mecklenburg County pay less than $50,000, that's fewer than the national rate of 64 percent. However, when looking at the Charlotte MSA as a whole, 67.4 percent of jobs are sub-$50,000. In North Carolina as a whole, more than 70 percent of jobs pay less than $50,000 a year.

The dashboard below gives further detail on wage distributions for Mecklenburg, the Charlotte metropolitan statistical area, North Carolina and the United States.   

Posted by: Chuck McShane - Director of Business Analytics and Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
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