University of North Carolina Wilmington
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Swain Center

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Swain Center Quarterly Economic Briefing

By the Numbers

By the Numbers July 2017

*YoY = Year over year, change from 12 months prior

Economic Outlook

The national economy, still marching forward

Ever wonder why some cars lose their value so quickly – the nondescript car sitting in the driveway – and some seem to go up in value, like the classic cars of our youth we still can’t seem to afford? When there are only a few classic cars and we all want them, the price goes up; when there are lots of nondescript cars we are less than enthused about buying, the price comes down.

The same phenomenon holds true in labor markets, and indicators suggest that the nation is heading into a seller’s market.

Here are some key factors that suggest wage increases may be on the horizon at the national level:

Unemployment Rates

Regional Economy Caught Up to National

On the regional front, unemployment is running near the national average at approximately 4.6%, seasonally adjusted, and lift off in wages is starting. While not the bubble-boom days of the mid-2000's, the regional economy looks to be fairly vibrant. A few points to consider:

Are there concerns? Always! Alcami announced it is cancelling an expansion, GenX publicity certainly isn’t helping us, and film incentives look to have settled at a lower level than the previous tax-credit program, but these are just a reminder that we need to always be telling our story and inviting new commerce to town. The Wells Fargo Championship highlighted our great community, the SUP has been updated, Pender Commerce Park is starting to move, an alliance between WBD and Brunswick County is encouraging, the Chamber has an energetic new president, and hotels are springing up downtown. There is still reason to be optimistic.

See you all on October 5 at the Economic Outlook Conference

Adam Jones

Dr. Adam Jones

Associate Professor of Economics, Cameron School of Business
Regional Economist, Swain Center

Dr. Jones has been with UNCW and the Cameron School of Business since 2010, after obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Jones worked with the Newton County Chamber of Commerce in Covington, GA. He has published in the Economic Development Quarterly, the Atlantic Economic Journal, and the Journal of Economics and Finance. He plans to continue his local public finance and regional economics research at UNCW with a focus on North Carolina issues and tax-base development.

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Q2 (July) 2017

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