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State Government
"Sunny Days" Projected For NC Economy PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 17 August 2018 09:38
By Dr. Michael Walden 

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor

North Carolina State University 

 
The national economy is always a key driver of state economies. Although there are many questions and issues related to the national economy – trade negotiations, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policies, international tensions, and the future composition of the Congress – most economists do see continued economic growth for the remainder of 2018 and in to 2019. The consensus seems to be a recession – if it occurs – will not arrive until 2020.
 
I forecast North Carolina real GDP will increase by 3.2% in 2018 and by 3.4% in 2019. Payroll job growth will be 1.7% in both 2018 and 2019, resulting in approximately 75,000 net new jobs in each of the years.
 
Predicting the most-used unemployment rate – the “headline rate” - is difficult. The rate will drop as more jobs are added and nothing else changes. But if some individuals who had left the labor force because they could not find work – and therefore are not officially counted as unemployed – resume looking for work as labor market conditions improve, the jobless rate can remain the same, or even rise, as jobs increase.
 
The “headline” unemployment rate is challenging to predict because it is based on more than simply job growth. Also important are the number of new individuals moving to the state, the number of people choosing to be in the labor force, and the number who actively seek work. Still, with labor market conditions expected to improve for both the rest of 2018 as well as 2019, I anticipate a year-end “headline” jobless rate in North Carolina of 4.1% at the end of 2018 and 3.8% at the end of 2019.
 
Regional “headline” unemployment rate forecasts for the state’s key metropolitan areas are presented in Table 1. Asheville, Durham, and Raleigh are predicted to have the lowest end-of-year jobless rates in 2019, at between 3% and 3.5%. Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, and Greenville will have the highest rates.
 
With economic growth continuing over the next 18 months, the economic geographic divide should continue to lessen somewhat, as firms search for more economic opportunities and labor availability outside of the large metropolitan regions. The status of the economic occupational divide will depend importantly on advances in technology. There have been significant gains in middle-paying construction and manufacturing jobs in recent years. Much of this is tied to rebounds in economic activity in those sectors. But both job categories – especially manufacturing – are susceptible to technology substituting for labor. This potential will largely determine the workforce trends in middle-paying occupations.
 
In terms of the signs to follow for an on-coming recession, it’s always advisable to look for emerging “excesses” in the economy that are prone for reversing. Currently it appears the sectors to watch are equity investments (the stock markets), where many indicators suggest inflated values, and business borrowing, where higher-risk loans have been increasing. Signs of trouble in either of these areas may be the best forecast of a broad economic downturn.
 
But for now, there appear to be sunny days in the near future for the economy, both nationally and in North Carolina.
Last Updated on Friday, 17 August 2018 09:42
 
Insurance Special Agents Bust Roofing Company Executive For Fraudulent Repairs PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 16 August 2018 09:25
The owner of Above and Beyond Roofing has been arrested on charges stemming from a months-long investigation into fraudulent roof repair.
 
Special agents from the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division charged Ricardo Romero, 34, of 16301 Woolwine Road, Charlotte, with nine felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense and nine misdemeanor counts of failing to work after being paid.  He turned himself in today to authorities in Union County where he is awaiting a magistrate hearing. 
 
According to arrest warrants, Romero obtained money from nine households, seven in Wake County and two in Harnett County, and did not order materials or provide roofs. 
 
The amount paid by the nine households totaled $69,350.63.
 
Multiple special agents from the Criminal Investigations Division have been investigating Above and Beyond Roofing and Romero for months after receiving complaints that work had been contracted and that insurance claims had been filed and paid.
 
The Criminal Investigations Division began investigating the company after consumers filed complaints with the Department of Insurance that Above and Beyond Roofing employees had conducted free roof inspections in the area following a September 2017 storm. 
 
Last month, special agents were granted a search warrant to inspect bank records of Romero and the roofing company.
 
The investigation is ongoing.
 
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2018 09:30
 
Senate Committee Assignments Announced PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 10:04

 

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) today announced new committee assignments:

 

Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform

     Sen. Chuck Edwards

     Sen. Brent Jackson, advisory member

 

Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee

     Sen. Deanna Ballard

 

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services

     Sen. Vickie Sawyer

 

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on the North Carolina State Lottery

     Sen. Kathy Harrington

 

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources

     Sen. Milton F. "Toby" Fitch, Jr.

 

Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee

     Sen. Joyce Waddell

 

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety

     Sen. Milton F. "Toby" Fitch, Jr.

 

Environmental Review Commission

     Sen. Joel D. M. Ford

 
NC Monuments Study Committee Will Meet August 22 PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 09:53
The North Carolina Historical Commission Confederate Monuments Study Committee will meet Wed., Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. The committee meeting will be followed by a meeting of the North Carolina Historical Commission at 10:30 a.m., immediately following the committee meeting.
 
Both meetings will be held in the first-floor auditorium of the Archives and History/State Library Building, 109 E. Jones St., Raleigh. The meetings are open to the public. Doors will open at 9 a.m.
 
At its 10 a.m. meeting, the study committee will discuss its recommendation to the full N.C. Historical Commission regarding a petition from the N.C. Department of Administration to relocate three Confederate monuments from the State Capitol grounds in Raleigh to the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site in Four Oaks. 
 
Following the committee meeting, the full Historical Commission will meet to consider the study committee’s recommendation regarding the three State Capitol monuments. 
 
The commission has received requests from private individuals to relocate the “Silent Sam” monument at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but has not received a petition from the university, the UNC system, or its governing body, the Board of Governors. At this meeting, the commission may seek advice from legal counsel on the legal standing of individuals to bring these requests, but does not intend to address the merits of the requests at this meeting.
 
Also at this meeting, the commission will consider other business items, including accessions into and deaccessions out of state historical collections.
 
Watch the meetings via Livestream at https://www.youtube.com/ncculture. 
 
For more information about the North Carolina Historical Commission, visit www.ncdcr.gov/nch
 
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