CHARLOTTE – New data shows that jobs are declining across the Triangle, but that doesn’t mean the region and the state economy are in trouble, says Dr. John Connaughton, an economist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. And the technology sector is a big reason.
In fact, he says, North Carolina’s tech sector continues to transform the state.
Despite national news headlines about hiring freezes and layoffs, Connaughton told an audience last week at the North Carolina Economic Outlook that North Carolina hasn’t seen any major effects from layoffs, hiring slowdowns or hiring freezes.
“In our technology sector, we’re not so much R&D, much more manufacturing and much less research,” Connaughton said. “There’s still a lot of demand for these products and I haven’t really seen much change now.”
The state’s economy is “taking a backseat” to what’s happening elsewhere in technology, noted Connaughton, who also predicted that the U.S. and North Carolina economies will not slide into recession next year.
UNCC economist: There will be no recession in 2022, and we do not expect one in 2023 either
Connaughton is particularly bullish on the technology sector, although layoffs have hit companies such as Cisco and Lenovo.
“Our technology sector is changing in this state,” Connaughton said.
One example, Connaughton noted, is Apple’s decision to build a research center in the Triangle. This project will have a big impact on what happens in the future, Connaughton said.
“This will potentially employ as many as 8,000, 9,000, maybe 10,000 people,” Connaughton said of Apple’s decision to invest in the country.
Connaughton said the current economic development, particularly of technology and biotech companies, is one reason the state may be well positioned to succeed, even in an economic downturn.
Apple’s new campus will usher in big changes for the Triangle workforce, jobs — here’s how
Why companies – and workers – are moving to NC
“One of the reasons companies are moving here, especially technology companies,” Connaughton said. “It’s easy to get people to come here.”
In detailing why this is the case, Connaughton noted that North Carolina’s taxes are low compared to other states, and housing costs in many metropolitan areas have been reasonable compared to other markets.
“Those things mean it’s fairly easy to get people to come here, and when you look at it, the labor markets are really tight because of the demographics, and you want to be somewhere that’s easy to get people to if they’re trying to recruit,” Connaughton said.
Another part of recruiting tech workers is the region’s overall labor market, which some may see as a hedge against potential future job loss or a benefit to any left-behind household partner. So what’s happening in the market for part of the triangle is still important as companies and individuals consider the changing economy entering 2023.
What is happening in the Triangle?
The latest data from WRAL’s TechWire Jobs Report shows that the number of vacancies in the Triangle is now lower than earlier this year.
However, there is a bright side: many companies are still recruiting and still post vacancies in regional and national employment offices and on their own career websites.
Overall, job openings posted on job boards were down in 13 of the 20 job board searches tracked by WRAL TechWire compared to a week ago.
Compared to a month ago, when there were more than 345,000 vacancies, the number of vacancies in the Triangle decreased by 13,640 positions, or 3.95%.
Duplication of job opportunities across boards means more job openings, but several boards continue to show thousands of job openings individually.
Job ads are falling across the Triangle – is it time to panic?
The latest in the Triangle job market
WRAL TechWire’s Weekly Jobs Report aggregates the latest information from the region’s top job postings and provides a breakdown of the number of job postings, which companies are hiring and which jobs are most in demand. Here’s what’s changed since the last WRAL TechWire jobs report.
Each week, WRAL TechWire tracks the total number of Triangle-area jobs posted on major job sites across 20 different searches. Here are the latest figures, as of Monday morning. In our report, we use the abbreviation “MoM” for month-over-month and “YTD” for year-to-date. This week’s report also includes tracking of monthly gains as a percentage increase or decrease in total posts as measured by WRAL TechWire, and year-to-date changes in openings.
Editor’s Notes: Monthly totals compare to our November 15th jobs report, and year-to-date totals compare to our January 3rd report. **We’ve also updated the methodology we use to track Johnston County job openings on LinkedIn twice, in July and August, when the platform updated its job display, and today’s report returns to month-to-month comparisons. *And tYear-to-date data for Johnston County follows Jan. 31, 2022, when we began tracking job postings in the county for the WRAL TechWire Jobs Report.
Triangle Startup Jobs Report
The job market may change from week to week, but there’s a clear trend line in the startup ecosystem: dwindling vacancies.
For the third week in a row, the overall total number of jobs in the Triangle’s startup economy fell.
The data shows that there are now just 18,813 startup jobs in the Triangle’s entrepreneurial economy, where the 15 job postings tracked by WRAL TechWire can overlap.
That’s down 12.1% from a month ago, when 21,402 jobs were posted on the 15 job boards tracked by the report.
The opening of businesses is also decreasing – but not everywhere
Of the 50 companies WRAL TechWire now tracks for the weekly WRAL TechWire Jobs Report, only 20% are hiring for more vacancies than they did a month ago.
In total, those 50 companies now have 3,656 job openings, down 259 from a month ago, when the report tracked openings at just 42 companies in the Triangle area.
Notably, Lenovo is no longer hiring for any jobs in North Carolina, according to its own job portal. This comes after the company confirmed it would be laying off workers, which WRAL TechWire first reported last week. Just last week, 146 job vacancies were posted in the Triangle region.
So who is hiring right now?
Other sources for finding Triangle job postings
Below, we’ve collected the latest upcoming job fairs, student-focused resources, and a list of Twitter accounts that follow local job openings. If you’re a student looking for an internship or entry-level position with a local business or organization, your university has resources to help you get started. Quick links below:
For Johnston County job seekers: The recently launched JoCo Careers website helps job seekers find companies hiring in Johnston County. (More TechWire coverage here.)
Look for Triangle job postings on these Twitter accounts
Here are some locally run Twitter accounts that regularly post job openings in the Triangle: