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Charlotte Talks: The Queen City's Economy Shows Signs Of Life, But The Struggle Is Far From Over


Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

North Carolina's unemployment rate at 6.5% is almost half of what it was in April. Data shows Charlotteans are eating at restaurants more often. And the health care industry appears to have stabilized. But progress is slow.

Almost 388,000 fewer North Carolinians had jobs in August of this year compared to 2019, and the number of sit-down diners in Charlotte was down 45% compared to last year.

Many women are experiencing compounding pressures, as sectors like health care and hospitality that employ majority women are experiencing massive layoffs, and data shows women are still more likely to be responsible for household tasks and child care. An expert at UNC Charlotte suggests “the fear is that many of the gains we have made since the 1960s and 1970s will actually go in the opposite direction — not just stalled or slowed, but reversed.”

The housing market continues to be extremely competitive while inventory plummeted more than 50% in August. The median sales price of homes has risen since last year, and homes continue to sell quickly.

The city has launched a “corridor of opportunity” initiative, promising $24.5 million in investments to “revitalize” six areas across Charlotte, including Beatties Ford Road -- pledging a public plaza, businesses, office space and more.

We take a closer look at every angle of the economy and how the Charlotte region is coping six months into a global pandemic. 


Tony Mecia, editor of the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter

Ashley Fahey, real estate editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher of QCityMetro.com

Danielle Chemtob, economic growth and development reporter for The Charlotte Observer

Jesse Steinmetz is Assistant Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.