Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Do CLT Workers Have Skills?

Recall we’ve been tip-toeing into this territory for some months now, asking the impolite question, do Charlotte’s laid off bankers have any actual skill sets?

Now comes a sobering account confirming that — at least in some cases — skilled workers are hard to find locally.

We are just going to have to watch the total jobs number very closely month-to-month to see if this changes. We know that the region lost 35,900 jobs in 2009. But when you drill down a little tighter to just Mecklenburg, Union, Gaston, and Cabarrus you can see how far we have to go to recover.

In December 2008 the total labor force stood at 720,498 with total employment of 657,723. That made for an unemployment rate of 8.72 percent. By December 2009 the labor force had grown to 730,224 while the total number of jobs fell to 645,556, making for an unemployment rate of 11.6 percent. (All this data comes straight from the NC Employment Security Commission.)

This means that to even get back to the relatively high unemployment rate of December 2008, we need 666,548 jobs in those four counties — assuming the labor force does not grow yet more. And adding 21,000 jobs in the next year would be a monumental reversal of recent monthly trends, which have seen job losses by the thousands followed by a gain of 100 or so.

It is probably far too simple a metric, but until the total employment number climbs above 650K for those counties I do not think anyone can begin to talk about economic recovery for Charlotte.

4 Responses to “Do CLT Workers Have Skills?”

  • Jan
    31
    2010

    These are interesting numbers, thanks for passing them along and adding some analysis to it.

    I’m presuming those numbers subtract out seasonal workers (students on breaks)?

    I’m also curious to see how the overall population changes in the next year or 3. Anecdotally a number of people I knew in the financial industry have left town altogether, or are contemplating it. I doubt that would significantly skew any of the overall numbers, but I would expect to see some impact eventually.

  • Jan
    31
    2010

    That’s assuming, of course, that they can even get out from under their mortgages. I’ve contemplated moving back to Raleigh after almost 18 years here, but at this point I’d end up taking a bath on my condo — even assuming I could find someone to buy it, what with the massive glut of condos in Uptown right now.

  • Jan
    31
    2010

    Well, jw it is Dec. to Dec. so the seasonal thing is self-correcting. To be clear I am looking ahead to Dec. 2010 and trying to figure out what recovery might look like.

    Most everyone has simply assumed that 2010 will bring recovery. OK then. Certainly by Q3 we will need to have hit that 650K mark if that is true. It strikes me as a fair, objective benchmark.

    And recall that CLT had roughly twice the fin-sect workers as the national avg. when this meltdown went down.

  • Feb
    01
    2010

    Companies are starting to flatten the managerial pyramid. There isn’t much call for the Phillip Rearden types who sit around the office and go to meetings and lunches all day anymore.

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