NC Commerce Department

Business & Economy
7:36 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Legislative Session To Open With Lowest Jobless Rate In Seven Years

North Carolina's 5.8% unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since 2008.
Credit NC Commerce

The North Carolina legislature is back in session this week.  The Republican-led body is touting a strong economy and an unemployment rate that hasn’t been this low since the start of the Great Recession.

So, bust out the Moscato! The unemployment rate in North Carolina is 5.8 percent.  Governor Pat McCrory says it hasn’t been that low since 2008.

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Business & Economy
7:23 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Unemployed In NC? You May Need To Verify More Job Searches To Collect Benefits

Credit Flazingo Photos / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state Commerce Department is behind a major jump in the number of weekly job searches claimants must have to collect benefits.

Dale Folwell is Assistant Commerce Secretary for Employment Security and he supports increasing weekly documented job searches from two to five.

“So we think this will increase the velocity of people getting off the unemployment rolls and looking for work," said Folwell.

Folwell says the current system was confusing for some people.  He says his office decided to cut the confusion and add searches at the same time.

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Politics & Government
8:48 am
Wed December 3, 2014

NC Environment Secretary To Take Helm At Commerce Dept. ‘He understands customer service’

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker (left) announced at a press conference at the Old Capitol Building that she's stepping down. Gov. Pat McCrory (center) said Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla (far right) would succeed Decker. Skvarla was joined by his wife, Elizabeth.
Credit Jorge Valencia

There will be some key changes to Governor Pat McCory’s cabinet in the New Year. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker is stepping down. And Environment Secretary John Skvarla will be the new head of the commerce department. The two positions are central to the governor's plan to attract businesses to North Carolina.

The governor feels very passionately about the members of his cabinet, or as he prefers to call it: his team. Yesterday, he was in front of a crowd in the historic chambers of the Old Capitol building, and beside him was Sharon Decker.

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Business & Economy
7:28 am
Thu November 6, 2014

North Carolina Launched 'AgBiosphere' Development Brand

NC Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler on hand for the 'AgBiosphere' branding announcement.
Credit Michelle VonCannon

North Carolina’s Agriculture and Biotechnology communities have launched a new global economic development platform.  

Doug Edgeton is President and CEO of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.  He said Wednesday's announcement brings Agriculture, Biotechnology, company growth and jobs together. 

“We have the companies, we have the research, we have the workforce, what we have lacked is something to call it," said Edgeton.  "So without further adieu, I’d like to officially unveil “AgBiosphere.”

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Business & Economy
9:52 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

State Commerce Workers Shift To Private Economic Development Partnership

The Economic Development Partnership of NC is expected to bring more business, and jobs, to the state.
Credit 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.

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Business & Economy
7:43 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Start Counting: 1,000 Businesses In 100 Counties In 100 Days

Gov. McCrory and mostly workforce development teams will visit 1000 businesses.
Credit Dave DeWitt

The governor and his workforce development team are keeping busy until it’s time for the legislature to meet again.  They are visiting 1,000 businesses in 100 days in all 100 counties.

It’s being described as a fact-finding tour.   State Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker is taking part in the tour that is part of NCWorks.

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Business & Economy
8:37 am
Wed July 2, 2014

NC Economic Recovery Concentrated In Triangle

NC county jobless rates are rising again, but still down over the year.
Credit NC Commerce

The latest North Carolina jobless numbers show a spike in county unemployment rates from Alamance to Yancey.  But there has been some positive movement over the past year.

May jobless numbers released by the NC Commerce Department show 92 counties with a higher unemployment rate than the month before.  But from this time last year, all 100 counties saw their unemployment rates drop.

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Politics & Government
4:41 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Economic Development Partnership Bill Advances In Legislature


A bill that would create a public-private economic development enterprise tentatively passed the House today. The measure would create a nonprofit corporation that would contract with the state Department of Commerce to attract companies and promote trade and tourism.

Republican Representative Marilyn Avila  addressed the bill's sponsor, Republican representative Tom Murry, saying she thinks the idea will help grow North Carolina's economy.

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Business & Economy
11:34 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

NC Regions Release Statewide Economic Development Blueprint

Credit Flickr user 401(K)2013

For the first time, North Carolina’s 16 regional councils of government have come together to create a blueprint for statewide community and economic development.  

The report is called “North Carolina Tomorrow, Building Communities for Tomorrow’s Jobs.”  It focuses on the competitive advantages of each region, like Tourism and Energy.  But also give attention to emerging technologies like video modeling and gaming.

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Business & Economy
8:22 am
Wed May 14, 2014

NC Works: Working To Connect People With Jobs

Credit NC Division of Workforce Solutions

The state Commerce Department has spent the past year making cuts and re-aligning its Division of Workforce Solutions.  Today, administrators say the results are positive.

One initiative getting a lot of attention is NC Works, an online portal developed to better connect the jobless with jobs.

Will Collins is the Executive Director of NC Works.  He's been on the job for six months and likes what he sees.

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