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Monthly Digest for March 2021

Monthly Digest for March 2021

Economic Snapshot, Top Industry Sectors Hiring, and High Demand Jobs

Our Voice | March Digest 
By Katie Loovis
March 1, 2021

1. Economic Snapshot for Orange County, NC

Image 1: Economic Snapshot of Orange County, NC on March 1, 2021 by Burning Glass (licensed)

2. Top 20 Industry Sectors Hiring in Orange County, NC  


Image 2: Industry Sectors Hiring in Orange County, NC on March 1, 2021 by Burning Glass (licensed)

3. Top 20 Jobs in High Demand in Orange County, NC 

Image 3: Jobs in High Demand in Orange County, NC on March 1, 2021 by Burning Glass (licensed) 

4. Register Now for The Chamber’s Economic Outlook Forum Featuring Dr. Michael Walden

Join us the Economic Outlook Forum Featuring Renowned Economist Dr. Michael Walden on Thursday, March 25, 2021 from 8:30-10:00am via zoom. This is the 2nd of ten forums in the 2021 Critical Issues Series will deliver timely information on the current performance and future predictions of our national, state, regional, and local economy. This forum is presented by 97.9 The Hill &, Duke Energy, and Durham Technical Community College, and free for Chamber members. Register now.

5. Economic Highlights from Chamber CEO Aaron Nelson

Unemployment Down: New unemployment numbers are in for December and Chapel Hill, Orange County, and Chatham County have reported four consecutive months with unemployment below 5%. Chapel Hill (4.9%), Orange (4.5%) and Chatham (4.6%) were some of the lowest unemployment rates in the state (6.2%).

Orange Retail Sales Down Slightly: New retail sales number are in and Orange County retail sales were up 2.8% in December over previous December and up 2.2% in November 2020 over previous November. Orange County retail sales for the calendar year 2020 were $1.971 billion, down 1.1% from 2019’s $1.995 billion ($23.5 million less).

Chatham Retail Sales Way Up: Chatham County retail sales were up 25.5% in December over previous December and up 48% in November 2020 over previous November (I double checked it). Chatham retail sales for the calendar year 2020 were $817.6 million, up 19.2% from 2019’s $686.1 million ($131.5 million more).


6. Dive Deeper into the Data

State of the Community: The Chamber reports annually on the well-being of Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro across social, economic, and environmental indicators in partnership with Carolina Demography, Orange County Government, the Partnership for a Sustainable Community, the Town of Chapel Hill, the Town of Carrboro, and the Town of Hillsborough

Economy: Economic performance is largely tracked by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides data on unemployment, wages, prices, and spending. Economic Summaries are based on geographic areas (Metropolitan Statistical Areas or MSAs). The Durham-Chapel Hill MSA is a five-county region, including Chatham, Durham, Granville, Orange, and Person County.

Economic Development: Economic Development in Orange County is largely coordinated by the local and county government and often in cooperation with the NC Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of NC to recruit new businesses, support existing enterprises, provide small business and start-up support, and attracting tourists and visitors.

Workforce Development: Workforce Development in NC is largely coordinated through 23 workforce boards. The Regional Partnership Workforce Development Board serves a five-county region, including Alamance, Orange, Montgomery, Moore, and Randolph Counties. Together, this board sets strategic direction, stewards “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” (WIOA) funds and provides oversight to the NCWorks Career Centers to strengthen the labor market and build regional competitive advantage.

7. In Case You Missed It 

Our Voice Blogs & Chamber Announcements from the previous month: 

About: The Chamber regularly advocates for the business interests of Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, and does so with data-informed positions. The Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee convenes monthly to guide this important work, and shares timely updates with Chamber members through Our Voice, a dynamic e-platform. Chamber Vice President for External Affairs, Katie Loovis, curates Our Voice and posts weekly blogs and a monthly digest on matters that matter to the local business community ranging from the economy and elections to economic and workforce development. 

Contact: For questions, contact Katie Loovis, Vice President of External Affairs for The Chamber at (919) 696-0781 (cell) or

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