Business & Economy

Unemployment Rate
NC Commerce

North Carolina’s unemployment rate edged downward in September.  But some still call the latest jobless report “mixed.”

The state’s jobless rate sits at 6.7 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the month before.

Durham
James Willamor / Flickr Creative Commons

  

Like residents of other regions, individuals in the South face economic disparities like a widening gender gap, income inequality, and higher rates of unemployment among young adults.

But in the South, it is also more difficult for those young people to move up the economic ladder than in any other region.

And a report released today by Durham research firm MDC ties many of those disparities to limited access to employment programs and higher education.

A picture of a house with solar panels on the roof.
Gray Watson / Wikipedia

Residential insurance companies want to raise their premium rates by an average of 25 percent. The N.C. Department of Insurance will hold a public hearing on the issue today.

It will be up to Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to decide whether a rate increase is excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau represents all 150 residential insurance companies in the state. Last year the Department of Insurance and the Rate Bureau agreed to the rates rather than going to a hearing.

NC State Fair
Wendy via Flickr/Creative Commons

It's time for the North Carolina State Fair  again.  The 11-day festivities kicked off in Raleigh Thursday, but the fair has been in the headlines a lot these past months. 

A picture of a window with a for rent sign.
capl_@_washjeff.edu / Creative Commons

North Carolina has better houses and apartments for sale or rent than in recent years. But Bob Kucab says with that rise in quality, affordability has become a problem. He directs the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

“And the biggest culprit is quite simply that housing costs have risen faster than incomes for most families over the past 10 years,” Kucab says.

Now, developers, real estate agents, lenders and agencies are gathering to share potential solutions.

Hispanic Business
Fusion Multicultural Marketing

Hispanic entrepreneurs and other business and community leaders are in Durham today for the Annual Hispanic Market Advantage Conference.

Iris Ramirez Reese is the CEO of Fusion Multicultural Marketing and Communications and she helped organize the conference.

Reese says there were a lot of haters when she first got started.

Triangle Startup Weekend
Triangle Startup Weekend

Triangle Start-up Weekend is underway in Raleigh, and the focus is on women.

Eleanor Ismail will be there.  She's President and Co-Founder of Aura Life, a company that’s developing natural remedies for yeast infections.  She has this start-up advice.

“Just go with boldness, have courage, be open-minded, be a team player and just have fun," said Ismail.

NC Welcome Sign
NC Commerce

The state’s new Economic Development office is officially open and several employees have walked over from the Commerce Department.

About 34 people moved from Commerce to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, located on Weston Parkway in Cary.  The new non-profit partnership essentially privatizes some of the Commerce Department’s duties.  John Lassiter chairs the board.

Chef Scott Crawford in his home kitchen.
Carol Jackson

Recently I spent much of the day with Scott Crawford. Crawford used to be executive chef at the Umstead Hotel & Spa and their five star restaurant Herons, a place Newsweek called one of the "101 best places to eat in the world."

Crawford has a bit of free time because he's left the world of high-pressure fine dining to try something new. He is staking his future on a new restaurant, Standard Foods, and its proximity to an urban farm.

Fish and Wildlife Service worker on boat checking gill net full of fish
Pedro Ramirez, Jr. / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It's the height of commercial flounder season along the North Carolina Coast, but gillnet fishing boats have been banned from heading out. That's because a large number of sea turtles are still swimming in those areas.

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries has temporarily closed areas in four Northeastern sounds and southern coastal waters to the fisheries. The agency was uncomfortable with the number of interactions fishing boats were having with endangered sea turtles since September.

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