Labor Market Publications

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and our Labor & Economic Analysis Division produce a number of useful publications focused on labor markets in the state and nation.

NC Today

NC Today

NC Today is a monthly review of labor market conditions in North Carolina with comparative data from the United States as a whole, and from selected Southern states on various aspects of the economy.

View the new Tableau dashboard here.

Labor Market Conditions

Labor Market Conditions

State Labor Market Conditions provides a monthly overview of the workforce across North Carolina. It is prepared as an accompaniment for the release of monthly state labor force statistics. State labor force, employment, and unemployment data are presented in narrative and graphic format comparing current month data to the previous month and year. Unemployment insurance activities are also reported.

County Labor Market Conditions provide an expanded overview of the workforce in North Carolina's 100 counties. It is prepared as an accompaniment for the release of monthly county labor force statistics. County labor force, employment, and unemployment data are presented in narrative and graphic format comparing current month data to the previous month and year. Unemployment insurance activities are also reported.

Labor Market Overviews by Workforce Board

Labor Market Overviews by Workforce Board

LEAD has recently transitioned our Labor Market Overviews to dashboard format. These publications still include all the labor market and other data available in years past, but now also include historical data to help users better understand regional trends. Data includes unemployment rates, employment levels, taxable retail sales, and job openings, among other information.

Area Demographic Profiles

Area Demographic Profiles

Area Demographic Profiles provide a glimpse into the business environment and quality of life across a variety of North Carolina geographies. Topics include demographics, education, housing, unemployment, and wages by industry. These reports are also sometimes referred to as County Profiles.

Prosperity Zone Data Books

Prosperity Zone Data Books

These data books serve as an introduction to the economies of North Carolina's eight Prosperity Zones, providing a broad overview of the labor market and demographic trends occurring in each. The Prosperity Zones contain between 10 and 17 counties and vary in population from about half a million to more than 2 million. Two of the zones — Southwest and North Central — are heavily influenced by the presence of the state’s two largest cities, Charlotte and Raleigh. Other zones contain a mixture of metropolitan (greater than 50,000 residents), micropolitan (10,000 to 50,000 residents), and rural areas. Although each zone is presented as a single unit in the data that follows, it is important to remember there is a great deal of variation within each zone.

Employer Needs Survey

Employer Needs Survey

The 2020 Employer Needs Survey, carried out by the Labor and Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) of the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the NCWorks Commission, is a survey of over 2,000 establishments of all sizes from all 100 counties of the state. The goal of the survey was to identify the needs of employers across the state, with a particular emphasis on hiring difficulties. The survey was conducted in late 2019. Although labor market conditions changed dramatically after that reference period due to the coronavirus pandemic, the survey results offer a snapshot of the tight labor market conditions faced by employers just a few months before the pandemic as well as other more long-term challenges for the workforce development system.

Annual Evaluation of North Carolina Economic Performance

Annual Evaluation of North Carolina Economic Performance

The 2020 Annual Evaluation of North Carolina Economic Performance provides a snapshot of North Carolina’s most recent annual labor market data, along with some historical context. This report will help support workforce planning and the process of making policy decisions for workforce development, education, economic development and business engagement.

Release Dates for Unemployment Rates

Release Dates for Unemployment Rates

Review the publication schedule for North Carolina's 2021 LAUS and CES data.  Release dates for U.S., statewide, and local area employment and unemployment statistics are included.