Economic Forecast Summary for 2017

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This year’s Economic Forecast Summary is written by Kim Raynor, Director of Client Engagement at Accuro.

Happy New Year! As we welcome 2017, many of us will take the time to reflect on our past year so that we can make organizational strategic plans for the future. At Accuro, we know how valuable it is to have current data and forecasts of the economy. This information has a tremendous impact on hiring decisions for our clients and impacts the willingness of top talent to consider new opportunities. Our team regularly monitors talent trends (both nationally and globally) so that we have a pulse on the pace of the current market. This information is critical so that we can be a resource to our clients as they seek to recruit and retain top talent, as well as to our candidates so they can make informed decisions.

For job seekers and for organizations seeking top talent, 2016 was an extremely positive year. The unemployment rate was 4.7 at year end. Therefore, people who were unemployed have returned to the job market, higher-level paying job opportunities were available, top candidates were willing to make changes to advance their careers and hiring maintained momentum to end the year strong.

Last week, I was able to attend two Economic Forecast Forums. The first one was presented by the North Carolina Bankers Association and the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the second by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. I am pleased to announce that “optimism” was the overall theme at both events. Following are highlights:

National/Global highlights:
• U.S. Business Optimism Index has increased due to expectations that President-elect Donald Trump and Congress will cut corporate taxes and regulations.
• The economy has improved since the election.
• The interest rate should increase as the era of ultra-low interest rates is over. Monetary policy has taken a slightly more aggressive tone as labor markets have tightened and inflation has firmed.
• Quality of jobs will be better in 2017 than 2016.
• Technology-driven markets have seen some of the fastest real GDP growth in recent years.
• Global economic growth is expected to gain momentum in 2017, but remain slow moving by recent historical standards.
• Shipping rates have risen, signaling stronger trade volumes.

North Carolina highlights:
• In 2016, North Carolina performed above the national average in key economic measures, such as gross domestic product, labor force expansion, payroll jobs and inflation-adjusted wages.
• NC employment growth expected in 2017, the main reason is population growth.
• Four economists all agree NC should see 2% GDP growth.
• Prosperity is expanding outside the Metro markets of Charlotte and Raleigh into rural areas.
• NC’s population growth rate for 2017 is projected 30 percent faster than the national rate.
• Raleigh ranked 2nd among 50 Largest Metro Area Economies for Year-over-Year Growth.

We hope you will find this insightful as you plan for 2017. As you take the time to evaluate this information, we want to remind you that the team at Accuro is your committed strategic partner as you seek top talent within your organizations or decide to make a strategic move in your career.

Links to the presentations from the Greater Raleigh Chamber Event can be found here: