Job Growth Slowed to 2.1% in 2018 in the Centralina Region; Financial and Information Industries Grew Fastest
Job growth in the 9-county Centralina region slowed to 2.1% in 2018 after peaking at 3.9% growth in 2015. Within the region, job growth was fastest in 2018 in Gaston County (3.5%), Iredell County (3.0%), and Lincoln County (2.7%). Mecklenburg County created the most new jobs, 15,000, growing 2.2%.
Industries that are driving job growth in our region are Information, Financial Activities and Manufacturing. Information grew 4.3% and added 1,100 jobs (the Information industry includes telecom, printing/publishing, and data centers). Financial Activities grew 4.2% and added 3,500 jobs. Manufacturing grew 3.2% and added 3,000 jobs. Health care and Hospitality also grew at above-average rates.
The largest drag on job growth was the sizeable Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector. Retail trade continues to create few new jobs and the Transportation and Warehousing industry tempered its fast pace, growing 6% in 2018 after growing 16% in 2017.