Improving Business in the Wilmington Region

Jobs Up, Unemployment Rate Down in Greater Wilmington

Recent employment figures show a regional economy that is now surpassing its performance prior to the “Great Recession.”

Figures released by the N.C. Department of Commerce for September 2016 put the Wilmington MSA’s unemployment rate at 4.5% — below the 4.7% rate for North Carolina overall and the 5% weighted national average that month.

But percentages alone do not tell the full story of the region’s job growth in the past eight years. Figures indicate that a total of 136,159 were employed in here as of September. Compare that to data from January 2010, during the height of the recession, when 115,101 people were employed in Greater Wilmington and unemployment peaked at 11.2%. Since then the region’s economy has generated 21,418 net new jobs.

Current numbers are even more significant when compared to those from April 2008, just prior to the historic downturn, when the region boasted a 4.1% unemployment rate. That month, a total of 124,345 workers were employed in the region.

“The real story here is our region’s economic resiliency,” says Scott Satterfield, chief executive officer of Wilmington Business Development. “We’ve come back from the worst recession since the Depression, and that’s a tribute to sound planning, diversification and hard work.”