Workforce & Employment

The southeastern region has a workforce of over 530,000 people employed in a diverse spectrum of industry sectors - advanced manufacturing, food processing, defense contracting, biotechnology, research, nuclear energy research and manufacturing, and many others. North Carolina workers have the highest productivity rates of all fifty states in the nation. Eleven percent of the regional workforce is engaged in manufacturing. The workforce is growing in the region, as more companies choose to locate and expand here, and as the excellent quality of life attracts people form around the nation and the world.

A Right-to-Work State

North Carolina is an “at-will” employment state and one of 23 states with a “right-to-work” law. Closed shops and union shops are not permitted. An employer may not require an employee to join a union, nor may an employer require an employee to refrain from joining a union. The most recent numbers reveal the State of North Carolina has the lowest unionization rate in the nation.

Lowest Unionization Rates (2014)

North Carolina 1.9%
South Carolina 2.2%
Mississippi 3.7%
Utah 3.7%
Georgia 4.3%
Arkansas 4.7%
Texas 4.8%
Virginia 4.9%
South Dakota 4.9%
North Dakota 5.0%
Tennessee 5.0%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014


Employment and Wages


 Employment growth

Click here for projected growth for Knowledge Workers in the region