Alliance News November 19, 2020

Charlotte Regional Economy Regains Momentum

CHARLOTTE (November 18, 2020)– Today, the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance (CLT Alliance) issued the third quarter Growth Report for 2020.

After historic job losses in the first two quarters of the year, employment in the Charlotte Region was up 3.5% overall in the third quarter led by the partial recovery of the leisure and hospitality industry. More than half of the 43,100 total jobs added in the region in Q3 came from leisure and hospitality, especially from restaurants and bars as establishments began to reopen and capacities increased.

“We’re definitely not out of the woods yet, but the addition of 43,000 jobs in the third quarter – with more than half of them in leisure and hospitality –  is a good sign for the fundamentals of our regional economy,” said Alliance Senior Vice President of Economic Research, Dr. Chuck McShane. “We’re expecting our economy to have a lot of pent up demand once the pandemic is under control, leading to a faster recovery.  Still, the small businesses that had to close or reduce service are struggling. It is crucial that we find ways to safely support those businesses to get them through this season.”

With the positive news of job growth also came the historic win for the Charlotte Region with Centene, ranked No. 42 on the Fortune 500, which announced its regional headquarters in July. The project is the largest jobs announcement in the region since the 1998 merger of Bank of America and Nationsbank. The healthcare company will hire more than 3,200 and invest over $1 billion in Charlotte’s University City campus.

In addition to Centene, 13 companies made announcements in the Charlotte Region during the third quarter, bringing a further $200 million in capital investments to the region.

“The third quarter numbers show that the Charlotte Region, even in the midst of a pandemic, remains a good investment. From Fortune 500 companies like Centene, to international manufacturers like FITT and GNT, to innovative engineering R&D companies attracted by our strong academic offerings at UNC Charlotte, the Charlotte Region remains a good investment,” said McShane.

The region has seen sizable investments, anchored by the three major projects of Centene’s $1 billion investment, the Carolina Panthers new headquarters facility in Rock Hill ($500 million), and Charlotte Pipe and Foundry’s Stanly County manufacturing facility ($325 million. Continued investment in the region indicates long-term confidence across a diverse set of sectors, laying the foundation for accelerating the recovery.

With this new growth also came trends for supply and demand for tech talent in the Charlotte Region’s top sectors of Manufacturing, Health Care, Transportation and Logistics, Financial Services, and Technology.

“Q3 is the first time that I’ve seen financial services companies post more jobs for software developers than financial managers,” said McShane, citing the growth of contactless payments, and the technology that enables those payments, has increased financial services employment especially in the Charlotte area.

The Logistics and Transportation industry has also continued to outpace overall job growth. While airline transportation jobs remain down 25% statewide since the pandemic, warehousing and distribution jobs have increased as the shift to e-commerce shows no sign of slowing.

Manufacturing employment increased by about 2% during Q3 but remains down 9% in the region since March, compared to a 4.4% decrease nationwide.

For detailed industry trends and insights in the key regional sectors of manufacturing, technology, health care, financial services and transportation and logistics, visit

To download a full copy of the report, click here.

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