Labor Force (10/2022)



The Catawba Region

Unemployment Rate (10/2022)



The Catawba Region

Employment Number (10/2022)



The Catawba Region

Employment in Traded Clusters



The Catawba Region


The Traded Clusters within the Catawba District with the highest 2019 employment numbers in excess of 2,000 were Business Services, Distribution and Electronic Commerce, Financial Services, Production Technology and Heavy Machinery, and Electric Power Generation. Within these, significant growth can be seen between 2010 and 2016 in all of these clusters.

Pasquotank County


Business Services added 4,529 jobs during the seven year period, Distribution and Electronic Commerce added 2,515 and Production Technology and Heavy Machinery added 891 jobs. Major areas of loss during this time include Automotive, Paper and Packaging, Communications Equipment and Services, and Financial Services. However, the District should see a reversal of losses in the Financial Services cluster as LPL Financial, located in Fort Mill, moves to full capacity with approximately 2,500 jobs within the cluster.


Between 1998 and 2019, employment within most of the major Traded Clusters within the district tended to track with overall employment trends during this same period showing a major decline between 2008 and 2009 at the apex of the great recession and a slow recovery up until 2015. Between 2015 and 2016, however, rapid growth emerged in several of the major clusters such as Distribution and Electronic Commerce, Business Services, Production Technology and Heavy Machinery, and Financial Services. Followed by a slight overall decline in 2019.

Notable exceptions include the relatively rapid transition away from Textile Manufacturing, which is illustrated by the dramatic downturn within that cluster between 1998 and 2010 but has in recent years seen a significant upturn as firms such as Keer and Sunfiber have come online.


While the massive loss of the long held and regionally significant Textile Manufacturing jobs is still being felt today, growth in major clusters such as Distribution and Electronic Commerce, Business Services, and Production Technology and Heavy Machinery has led to a more diverse and evenly distributed employment pool within the Catawba Region District. Additionally, as previously cited, the significant downturn in Textile Manufacturing has begun to stabilize as investments in manufacturing facilities such as Keer in Lancaster County and Sunfiber in Chester County have retained total employment for the cluster within the district to 1,329.

It should be significantly noted that 2019 represents the first year since 2000 in which overall jobs within Traded Clusters exceeded employment levels of approximately 43,000 jobs in 2000.