North Carolina's Southeast Releases State of the Region Economic Indicators Report


For Immediate Release:

Contact: Steve Yost, Director

910-862-8511 (x22)


Jobs Data, Business Growth, Industry Trends to be Tracked Annually

October 12, 2011 – Elizabethtown, N.C. North Carolina’s Southeast (North Carolina Southeast Regional Economic Development Commission), the regional economic development partnership serving the 11 southeastern counties, has released its first-ever State of the Region report. The document tracks the current status of economic indicators regarding the region, including trends in industry sectors, population, job creation and losses, wages, commuter patterns, and other important measures of economic activity. The Commission intends to conduct this report annually.

“Part of our leadership role in the region is to provide accurate information and analysis concerning the state of our regional economic health,” explains Jane Smith, Chairman of North Carolina’s Southeast. The report is primarily intended for use by the region’s business, education, and government leaders and decision makers in establishing strategies that encourage economic growth in the region. “It’s a convenient, accurate and up-to-date portal into the southeast region – where it is, where it’s been and where it may be going,” Smith says.

Some highlights include:

  • Since 2000, the region grew 2.8% more than the national average in population
  • The Fayetteville and Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Areas earned a number of positive business accolades
  • NCDOT is poised to spend $1.2 billion on transportation improvements in the region from 2011-2020
  • Healthcare, retail, accommodations and food services, educational services, and the manufacturing sectors employed the most people in 2010, more than 225,000.
  • The regional unemployment rate ranged from 5% in 2000 to 10.3% in 2010
  • Companies and organizations announced $4.48 billion in investment and 13,267 in new jobs from 2005-2010
  • Average weekly wages increased significantly from $494.00 in 2000 to $654.67 in 2010
  • Defense contracts held by companies in the region increased from $50 million in 2000 to $450 million in 2010

While the Commission’s work centers on marketing and promoting the region, the State of the Region report is a candid assessment of the Southeast – including areas that need improvement.“It’s the good and the challenging – but as the primary economic development leadership organization for the region, it is our job to know where the weak spots are,” says Steve Yost, President of North Carolina’s Southeast. “Public and private leaders are then able to get together and develop viable, sustainable solutions.”

One of seven regional economic development partnerships in the state, North Carolina’s Southeast’s mission is to provide strong regional economic development leadership in southeastern North Carolina through innovative marketing and collaborative regional initiatives that will create new jobs, generate capital investment, and secure new business locations. It serves the following counties: Bladen, Brunswick, Cumberland, Columbus, Hoke, New Hanover, Pender, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland. For additional information, visit

 View the State of the Region online flip-book.

 Download the full State of the Region .pdf document.