Business & Economy

photo of a person operating a tractor in a tobacco field
Larry Lamb / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina farmers are among those warily watching a new trade dispute between the United States and allies in North America and Europe.

The Wild Bison truck stop, pictured here at night, is where Rao began her reporting for her novel.
Courtesy of Maya Rao / WUNC

Before 2008, western North Dakota was a faded frontier. The vast and sparsely-populated area had been steadily losing population since the Great Depression. But the discovery of the Bakken oil fields, in combination with new fracking technology, paved the way for what Maya Rao calls a modern-day gold rush.

Hogs in a large-scale farming barn.
Public Domain

North Carolina’s pork industry has been in the spotlight since a jury awarded tens of millions to 10 people living close to one Eastern North Carolina hog farm. The money was awarded as nuisance payments for noxious odors, floating fecal dust and other byproducts of large-scale farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFO’s.

Smithfield Foods promised to cut emissions.
humanesociety.org

Lawyers for the world's largest pork producer don't want jurors to hear about the finances of a company whose industrial-scale hog operations caused a stench so bad it made life miserable for its rural neighbors.

A bar graph showing available technology jobs in North Carolina each month over the past year.
North Carolina Technology Association

Information Technology jobs are still in high demand across the state, according to the latest Tech Talent Trends Alert from the North Carolina Technology Association.

Scenes from the 2017 Rural Day.
Courtesy of York Wilson Photography

More than 400 local and state officials, business leaders and economic developers will gather in Raleigh Tuesday for the second annual Rural Day.

Organized by the non-profit North Carolina Rural Center, the event will focus on promoting economic development in the state's 80 counties with a population density of less than 250 people per square mile.

Michael C. Munger speaking
Courtesy of Michael C. Munger / WUNC

In 2010 the first Uber passenger was picked up in San Francisco. The business model quickly took off, and one year later was available in New York and Chicago and then went international.

Brian Moynihan is the CEO of Bank of America, based in Charlotte
David Boraks / WFAE

With a pay package of $21.4 million, Bank of America's Brian T. Moynihan ranks as the highest paid chief executive of a public company in North Carolina.

The proposed route to complete the 540 Loop around Raleigh.
N.C. Department of Transportation

Conservation groups have sued to stop the construction of the last of the 540 loop in Wake County.

The Swedish furniture company IKEA will abandon plans to build one of its superstores in the Triangle.

IKEA had planned to open a location in Cary in 2020, but town manager Sean Stegall confirmed Wednesday the retailer will not expand to Cary Towne Center.

The states in darker blue use the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Department of Labor

Democrats in the state legislature joined labor leaders to launch an effort to raise North Carolina's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, drawing a clear battle line for the November mid-term elections.

photo of 6 people on the front steps of a house
Courtesy of Stephen Sills

The highest rent prices in the nation can be found in metropolitan areas like Manhattan or San Francisco. So why is it that Greensboro has some of the highest eviction rates in the country? Greensboro is ranked seventh on the list of the top evicting large cities in the U.S., according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. 

Visitor spending in North Carolina by year.
Visit North Carolina / N.C. Department of Commerce

North Carolina brought in a record $23.9 billion in tourism spending in last year.

Moreover, North Carolina's tourism industry supported a record 225,000 jobs in 2017.

strawberries
NC Strawberry Association

Many North Carolina farmers have opted out of the organic strawberry business, saying conventional berries are hard enough to grow.

headshot of andy fisher
Courtesy of Andy Fisher

When Andy Fisher co-founded the Community Food Security Coalition in 1994, he had a clear goal of advocating for food security. During his 17 years working in conjunction with leaders of the anti-hunger movement, he observed the systems and practices that are holding the movement back.

A federal judge has accepted a settlement that would allow those who lost power for days last summer on two North Carolina islands to divvy up more than $10 million.

City of Raleigh

A downtown Raleigh transportation hub is nearly ready to host its first passenger trains. 

The city officially dedicated Union Station in a ceremony Monday morning. The $89 million project will eventually handle commuter and passenger rail as well as buses and taxis on the west end of downtown.

photo of the airbnb website, with pictures of rooms for rent
www.airbnb.com/a/Asheville

The Asheville City Council voted to severely restrict tourist rentals in Asheville earlier this year. The new rules state that rentals that had city permits before the vote can stay in business.

A map of economically vulnerable areas in Wake County.
Wake County Economic Development

Businesses that set up shop in poor parts of Wake County could soon receive financial incentives, provided they pay employees a living wage. That means employees can meet their basic needs without public or private assistance.

Greensboro city skyline
Mark Goebel / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/4UYDyX

The city of Greensboro could do more to ensure businesses owned by women and minorities get contracts with the city, according to a report presented to the city council this week.

photo of a person operating a tractor in a tobacco field
Larry Lamb / Flickr Creative Commons

Weeks ago Donald Trump announced a tariff on steel that will impact China. In response, China plans to increase tariffs on several popular American exports including pork. Veteran Winston-Salem Journal reporter Richard Craver believes both countries will pay the price. From North Carolina beer brewers to major construction companies, local business are concerned, but there may also be some winners when the smoke clears. He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the local impact of the steel tariff.

Remington's corporate headquarters in Madison, North Carolina.
Keri Brown / WFDD

One of the oldest gun manufacturers in the country has filed for bankruptcy. Remington Outdoor Company, based in Madison, North Carolina, has racked up nearly a billion dollars of debt and faced several lawsuits, including one moving through the courts related to the use of its AR-15-style weapon in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

A hog farm in Lyons, Georgia.
Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

China's tariffs on American goods could dip into North Carolina's pork exports.

Instructor Jill Caudill, right, demonstrates tig plate welding during a class at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown on Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

The sounds of high-pitched drills fill the welding department of Guilford Technical Community College on a recent morning. Sparks fly and sweat drips from the faces of students as they work to fuse metal pieces together for a class project.

Broadband internet, computers,
www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/

The North Carolina League of Municipalities is pushing state lawmakers to help expand high-speed Internet access, particularly in rural areas. 

Amazon announced Raleigh is on the list of 20 possible contenders for its HQ2.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

As Raleigh tries to appeal to Amazon for its new headquarters, an LGBTQ rights group is pushing the company to look elsewhere.

A chart showing the electricity generation capacity in North Carolina in 2016.
Courtesy of NCSU

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline promises to bring huge quantities of cheap natural gas to North Carolina, which could slow growth for solar power.

North Carolina is technically the second largest producer of solar energy in America. N.C. State University Energy Economist Harrison Fell explained the state is capable of running seven percent of the energy grid on solar. But, of course, it's not always sunny.

photo of Rachelle Faroul in the doorway of her new home
Sarah Blesener for Reveal

Starting in the 1930s, the Federal Housing Administration practiced a policy called redlining, which permitted banks to deny loans to particular neighborhoods based on their racial or ethnic composition. That practice has been illegal since 1968, but African-Americans and Latinos continue to be denied mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts, according to new reporting from Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

The black community owned 0.5 percent of America’s wealth at the end of slavery, and today that number has barely increased. A typical white household is 10 times wealthier than a typical black household, and the racial wealth gap is growing.

students in a Chapel Hill elementary school.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

New research from the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation found that companies across the state are interested in making their businesses more family friendly. That includes policies from offering health insurance and family medical leave to paid time off, job-sharing and flexible work hours.

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