NC Department of Commerce

Politics & Government
8:27 am
Wed June 11, 2014

NC General Assembly Summary: Tuesday, June 10

Photo: North Carolina's Old Capitol building
Credit Jorge Valencia

The House of Representatives has been busy working on a budget plan for the state and other large pieces of legislation. Here's a summary of the days news from the State Capitol:

The centerpiece of the spending plan lawmakers are adjusting is pay for public school teachers. A five percent raise is what House Speaker Thom Tillis and his colleagues are suggesting.

That’s almost the mid-point between the two existing budget outlines. The governor has suggested a two-percent raise, and the senate an 11-percent raise.

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Business & Economy
7:49 am
Thu May 22, 2014

NC's Jobless Rate Drops; So Do Benefits

North Carolina's jobless rate goes down, benefits are also going down.
Credit NC Commerce

At first glance, there are several signs North Carolina’s job market is improving.  In fact, last week, the state Commerce Department reported the jobless rate in April was down to 6.2-percent.  That’s the lowest it’s been since 2008.

But some economists and advocates say unemployed workers are still facing a tough job market and less help from the state.

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Politics & Government
5:41 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Former State Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco Dies

Former state Commerce secretary Keith Crisco has died. The Democrat faced American Idol contestant Clay Aiken in the Second Congressional District.  

Last week, Crisco said in a statement that he was waiting to see final vote tallies in the primary. It wasn't clear then  whether the race was close enough for him to request a recount or whether there would be a runoff.

Crisco was behind Aiken by a few hundred votes, according to unofficial totals. A Democratic strategist says Crisco was planning to concede the race to Aiken today.

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Politics & Government
5:59 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Department Of Labor Tells NC To Stop Providing Confidential Jobless Information

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the NC Division of Employment Security.
Credit NC Commerce

The state Division of Employment Security has the OK from the U.S. Department of  Labor to stop providing attorneys with hearing notices of unemployed workers.

Attorneys say that having access to notices of  jobless workers who are preparing to face-off with their former employer over benefits helps both parties.  It’s business for the attorney and counsel for the claimant.

But word from the the Department of Labor calls on DES to cease the practice of providing such confidential information.

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Politics & Government
10:45 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Some Wait Three Weeks For Initial Unemployment Checks

Dale Folwell is Assistant Secretary of Commerce and heads the Division of Employment Security.
Credit NC Commerce

Thousands of jobless North Carolinians have been waiting for several weeks to get their first unemployment check.  State officials say they hope to have that back-log under control this month.

Assistant Commerce Secretary Dale Folwell heads the employment agency responsible for making sure the unemployed get their checks.

“Anytime there’s one case in our backlog, that’s one too many," said Folwell.

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The State Of Things
12:24 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Conference Explores North Carolina’s Energy Future

Strata Solar's Solar Farm in Fuquay Varina.
Credit http://www.stratasolar.com / Strata Solar

Host Frank Stasio talks about North Carolina's energy present and future with Marilyn Brown, Lyle Estill, and John Morrison.

North Carolina companies are in the midst of a sustainable energy boom. Solar farms have bloomed, wind farms could be on their way, and local entrepreneurs are experimenting with biofuels and solar power. But cheap natural gas and new legislation could slow sustainable energy growth.

Experts are discussing these advancements at the North Carolina Department of Commerce's 10th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh today. Keynote speaker Marilyn Brown is a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She said today on The State of Things that many people are looking to fracking for natural gas to solve our energy needs.

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Business & Economy
7:49 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Unemployment Rates Drop Across North Carolina

'Back-to-Work Jobs Fair' at Wake Tech Community College earlier this month.
Credit Wake Tech Community College

There is some positive news on the jobs front across North Carolina.  The latest unemployment numbers show a drop in the jobless rate in every corner of the state from Asheville to Wilmington. 

Several metropolitan areas with unemployment rates in the double digits saw their numbers drop by nearly a full point in February.  Those communities include Greenville, Rocky Mount and Greensboro-High Point.  A lot of the movement reflects normal seasonal patterns. 

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Business & Economy
6:58 am
Tue April 9, 2013

McCrory Wants Private Sector More Involved In NC Business

Gov. Pat McCrory
Credit NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory wants to create a new agency to help grow North Carolina’s economy. The proposal includes a plan to privatize part of the Commerce Department.


McCrory wants a new outlet to handle job recruitment, efforts to boost exports and promote tourism. Those duties would replace some of the functions the Commerce Department currently handles. Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker says the goal is a public-private partnership.

"The state has a role in creating incentives, in making this a competitive place economically," she says.

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Business & Economy
7:03 am
Tue March 19, 2013

North Carolina Gaining On Jobs Front

Credit NC Commerce

North Carolina’s jobless rate may not be anything to cheer about, but the state’s job growth is getting some applause. 

The state’s unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in January.  It's one of the highest in the nation, hovering hovered around that amount for the past year. The national rate sits at 7.9 percent.

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Business & Economy
9:00 am
Mon August 20, 2012

NC Exports Grow Towards South America

North Carolina’s list of top international trading partners is showing growth from Central and South America.

Leoneda Inge:  The country with the largest percentage of growth is Brazil.  Since last year, North Carolina exports there increased by 37-percent from the year before.  Brazil ranks number 10 on the state’s list of top business partners.  Jean Davis heads international trade for the state Commerce Department.   She just returned from a meeting in San Juan and says Central and South America is a real target.

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