The Growth Report
Companies in Charlotte Mecklenburg announced the addition of more than 3,200 jobs and made more than $74 million in capital investments during the first quarter of 2018. That’s slower than first quarter 2017 but faster than 2016 and 2015.
Professional services firms showed strong growth during the usually slow first quarter. Audit and consulting firm EY announced the addition of 375 jobs and the construction of an $8.2 million “wavespace” innovation center focused on research on disruptive technologies such as blockchain and others. Ally bank announced the addition of a smaller innovation space at the Camp North End site off Statesville Avenue. In all, professional services, information and financial companies added more than 650 jobs this quarter.
Manufacturing growth in the county was also strong with more than 434 jobs added. Industrial motor manufacturer Powertec announced the addition of 42 jobs at a 50,000 square foot facility in Southwest Charlotte. Engine and power equipment remains an important sector for the Charlotte area, accounting for more than $730 million in total exports. That’s one reason for international interest in Charlotte’s manufacturing sector. Two international manufacturers – British filtration technology producer PSI Global and Chinese machinery manufacturer Sichuan Dawn announced plans to add jobs in Mecklenburg County. Turkish textile manufacturer Metyx also announced plans to open a facility in Gaston County.
Overall economic indicators were steady for the quarter, with Mecklenburg County unemployment remaining at 4.3 percent through February. National gross domestic product estimates showed some tapering off with the Federal Reserve predicting less than 2 percent growth for the quarter. Official numbers will be released in late April.
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