ECONOMY

Aug 14, 2018
Two researchers conclude in a new article that many starter-home subdivisions in Charlotte, often built in industrial areas, saw neighborhood decline.
May 31, 2018
Recently released U.S. Census data shows continuing growth in almost all the towns and cities in the Charlotte region, and one factor driving growth appears to be proximity to Charlotte.  
May 23, 2018
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Evictions Part 3: One-month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records” on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.  
Nov 29, 2017
In today’s knowledge-based economy, how can rural communities in the Charlotte area use and strengthen the traditional regional linkages? With a grant from The Duke Endowment, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute will explore that question.
Jul 18, 2017
Today’s urban crisis, writes Richard Florida, is as bad as the era of white-flight suburbanization and central city decay of the ’50s and ’60s. Book review.
May 09, 2017
Each January volunteers fan out across Charlotte to try to count the number of people lacking a home. This year’s numbers point to reason for hope.
Dec 13, 2016
Over our 50-year history at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, we’ve been committed to looking at the whole Charlotte region. So a growing divide – real or perceived – among urban, suburban and rural areas is something we take seriously.
Dec 01, 2016
Are Millennials really so different from other generations? When it comes to housing preferences and opinions, the answer seems to be: Yes. And no.
Sep 19, 2016
Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents may be growing weary of the stagnated state of the economy, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s Annual Survey showed.
Jul 11, 2016
A recent report finds that in the Mecklenburg County metro area, a minimum-wage worker must work 92 hours a week to afford rent and utilities for a basic two-bedroom apartment.
Mar 29, 2016
Although existing entrepreneurial companies in Charlotte are seeing substantial revenue and job growth, an in-depth study of the state of entrepreneurship in Charlotte finds the area dramatically lags benchmark cities in inventions, venture capital and research dollars
Sep 24, 2014
Recently the site FiveThirtyEight.com reported that of the largest U.S. metros, only Charlotte’s median income, “experienced a statistically significant decline” in 2013. What’s going on?
Sep 11, 2014
Since the 1970s, the plight of the American middle class has been worsening. UNC Charlotte sociologist Scott Fitzgerald's most recent book details many of the causes and consequences. He'll speak publicly on Sept. 18. An interview.
May 15, 2014
Interactive data dashboards track Gaston County trends in demographics, economy, education, health and quality of life. (Graph: ui.uncc.edu)
May 01, 2014
Charlotte never experienced the dramatic housing bubble seen in other places in the country, but the local market is still under its August 2007 peak as measured by the Case-Shiller Index. Explore our data dashboard to see Charlotte's highs and lows compared with places like Atlanta and Denver. (Graphic: UNC Charlotte Urban Institute)
Mar 13, 2014
Charlotte's metro has one of the fastest-growing college-educated populations in the U.S. Where exactly do the educated live in Charlotte? As people with college degrees cluster in metros, what does that mean for rural areas? (Graphic: John Chesser)
Feb 06, 2014
Cabarrus County commissioners heard a presentation on demographic trends in Cabarrus County and the Charlotte region as the kickoff for their annual board retreat Jan. 24. John Chesser, senior analyst at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, was the presenter. To download a copy of that...
Dec 16, 2013
All three of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s most recent directors came, not from large urban centers, but from small, rural communities. But what we may have lacked in urban sophistication we made up for in our conviction that great metro regions are a healthy mix of urban, suburban and rural communities. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Oct 17, 2013
People in Mecklenburg County are feeling the effects of the economic recovery, according to results from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s 2013 Annual Survey. Most people surveyed said their economic situation is getting better, more than at any time since 2010. (Photo: John Chesser)
Oct 03, 2013
Population growth in Charlotte has always come with plenty of costs, but rising incomes and prosperity were part of the expected returns. Yet during the recent economic downturn, as population growth continued, economic growth sputtered. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Sep 05, 2013
We are finally seeing the long-awaited economic recovery slowly build momentum in the Charlotte region. What can we do to better position our area for sustained economic growth and positive change? We must work to actively attract capital, entrepreneurs, and innovators from around the world. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
May 16, 2013
Below are more specific details about the differing tax-restructuring proposals from two N.C. senators. Neither proposal is likely to be adopted exactly as presented, because amendments and changes are likely as the measures move through will the N.C. General Assembly. Clodfelter proposal...
May 16, 2013
As N.C. legislators debate whether or how to reform the state’s tax system, it’s worth taking a look at the principles that should underlie any sound taxation system – and at how two key proposals for change stack up against those principles. (Photo: John Chesser)
Mar 06, 2013
Recently approved unemployment benefit changes in N.C. are structured in a way that will cause additional federal cuts to kick in – reducing by 74 percent the maximum number of weeks that jobless North Carolinians can receive unemployment checks. (Photo:Jmturner via Wikimedia Commons)
Feb 28, 2013
Local perceptions may not have caught up with the new reality in the Charlotte region’s manufacturing economy. Even before the recession began in 2007, declines in the textile and furniture industries were changing the structure of local employment. As the downturn continued, counties that depended less on textile and furniture manufacturing lost fewer jobs. The result: Several counties traditionally considered centers of manufacturing employment, such as Gaston, now have a smaller percentage of jobs in manufacturing than fast-growing Union.
Feb 28, 2013
North Carolina's young people are increasingly steered away from manufacturing jobs. But many people now believe manufacturing has more promise than the low-wage service jobs that dominate the limited options for young people outside the state’s urban areas. (Photo: GMI)
Feb 14, 2013
Times have been tough in the local economy, but it looks as if we’ve finally turned the corner. If growth is starting to make a comeback, exactly where will it be? Is your county ready? (Photo:  U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office)
Feb 04, 2013
New single-family residential building permits in Mecklenburg County have been on a roller coaster ride since 2003. But preliminary numbers show a promising upswing heading into 2013. Using U.S. Census Bureau data1 to examine the previous decade's trends tracking back to 2003, what can we expect for new construction as we move forward in 2013?
Jan 10, 2013
The first quarter 2013 Charlotte Business Confidence Index report, released Jan. 2, shows Mecklenburg County business leaders' optimism about economic prospects in the first quarter 2013 improved compared to their expectations for the fourth quarter 2012.
Jan 10, 2013
Since 1993 the City of Charlotte has tallied information about some (and in later years all) city neighborhoods, in its regular Quality of Life reports. But this year major changes are afoot for the project, which opened its online doors to the public on Monday.
Dec 17, 2012
2013 may be a year historians look back on as the time local leaders hit the “reset” button on issues that had been at the forefront of public policy discussions before the 2008 economic meltdown. Will leaders revisit these issues following the same assumptions and conventional strategies as before? Or will lessons learned in the past five years and a new set of leaders take the region down an entirely different path in addressing some of these issues?
Nov 14, 2012
Surveys are pointing to a new optimism about the local and national economy. Can we move beyond the election and the “fiscal cliff" so that these optimistic attitudes turn into economic realities?
Nov 12, 2012
For many reasons, more Americans are renting their homes today compared to recent years. How does that reality square with long-held perceptions about homeowners versus renters?
Oct 25, 2012
Charlotte has lagged much of the country in this period of economic recovery, but the region has finally begun to see a few small signs of better days on the horizon. Over the past several months, there has been gradual improvement in the unemployment rate and home price index in the region. These bright spots are welcome news in a region that continues to suffer the effects of the Great Recession.
Oct 17, 2012
Many people are surprised to learn that agriculture is the No. 1 industry in the state. However, North Carolina is losing farmland faster than any other state – and the number of dairy farms is down dramatically.
Oct 02, 2012
The fourth quarter 2012 Charlotte Business Confidence Index report, released Sept. 28, shows Mecklenburg County business leaders’ optimism about economic prospects declined compared to expectations for the third quarter.
Sep 04, 2012
Welcome, Democrats! You have received loads of material on restaurants, sights and the strange habits of the locals. Here is a primer quick enough for you to digest while you spoon through your breakfast grits.
Aug 22, 2012
An interactive map showing subdivisions in the Charlotte region that were not completed as originally planned due to the economic downturn.
Aug 17, 2012
In the wake of the financial crash, many real estate developments across the Charlotte region appear frozen in various stages of construction. But a few of these so-called “zombie subdivisions” may be reviving, as developers regain their financial footing and, in some cases, propose new plans. (Click here for a photo gallery of abandoned subdivisions in and around Charlotte.)
Aug 08, 2012
How much are homes in your neighborhood worth? The era of upside-down mortgages and foreclosures has left homeowners across the country anxious about home values – theirs and their neighbors'. In the midst of this housing market upheaval, explosive growth in the Charlotte region has reshaped residential patterns.
Jul 02, 2012
The third quarter 2012 Charlotte Business Confidence Index report shows Mecklenburg County business leaders’ optimism about economic prospects declined compared to their expectations for the second quarter. The overall index value, however, remains positive on business confidence overall for the third consecutive quarter.  
Jun 18, 2012
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library budget is up by more than $800,000 for the coming fiscal year after suffering a larger reduction in funding during the recession than many of its peer library systems around the country. The increased funding will allow the restoration of Sunday hours at six regional branches during the coming school year.
May 22, 2012
After decades of decline, manufacturing jobs across the country have seen a modest uptick. This long period of industry restructuring has left a strikingly different geography of manufacturing in the Carolinas; we still make furniture and textiles, but that’s not the whole story anymore.
Apr 25, 2012
In this period of high unemployment, not everyone has suffered equally.  Two populations of particular concern are veterans and youth.  Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provides services to both of these populations and is a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable populations in the Charlotte region.  The agency is continuing its innovation and outreach efforts in a partnership with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute by providing new resources to the community to understand who needs help now, and who may be at most risk in the future.
Apr 18, 2012
Where are urban regions growing – in their cores or suburbs? What is happening in rural areas? New population figures have fostered speculation about what growth in urban regions will be like in the future.  For rural parts of the Carolinas, the issue isn’t about growth at all, but widespread decline in population.
Apr 02, 2012
As Mecklenburg County business leaders look ahead to the second quarter, their optimism about the economic outlook has improved.
Mar 07, 2012
Smart cities around the world use two secret weapons to form leadership and stay ahead of the pack in planning and economic development.  One mechanism is internal, an informal, diverse but cohesive planning elite. Another is external, an outward-looking and systematic search for new knowledge, often by visiting other cities.
Feb 23, 2012
Children without hope can be found in every community.  Father Greg Boyle has been working on this issue for decades through Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.   He spoke in Charlotte this week about Homeboy, which is recognized as the largest gang intervention program in the country.  Homeboy Industries' slogan is, “nothing stops a bullet like a job.”
Feb 08, 2012
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute now has office space in the university's Center City Building. Although the institute will continue to be headquartered on the main campus, several staff members and institute Director Jeff Michael are now regularly spending some time each week in the new facility uptown. The Center City Building offers the institute new ways to engage with the community and to connect faculty and students to the institute's community research.
Jan 19, 2012
When it comes to city-county consolidation, citizens should know that nothing is guaranteed. And some of the commonly held beliefs about consolidation may not, in fact, be accurate. One prime example: Despite fears in Mecklenburg's towns, in many recent city-county consolidations the smaller municipalities in a county weren’t part of the merged body.