Appendix A: Economic and Demographic Profile

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Economic and Demographic Trends

Sanford Holshouser examined local and regional economic and demographic trends as part of the strategic planning process. The information identifies strengths of the economy and workforce and also weaknesses that need to be addressed. Information gathered for the Economic Profile, along with local leadership input, benchmarking analysis and Sanford Holshouser’s long-term economic development expertise, was used in the development of recommendations. The data used in this report are from the US Census, NC Employment Security Commission, NC State Data Center and ESRI, a data and research company.

Key Findings

Population –Cary has seen tremendous population growth; it has grown 115% over the decade 1990 to 2000. The town’s growth far surpasses population growth in Wake County and the Raleigh MSA. Age demographics show that the population of Cary is younger than Wake County and the MSA.

Education – The educational attainment levels in Cary and Wake County have increased. In fact, Cary is one of the best educated towns in North Carolina. The number of residents holding a bachelor’s degree increased 16% to a total of 37.7% of the population, and the number holding a graduate or professional degree increased 41% to a total of 23%. The Town and County have one of the lowest percentages of people over the age of 25 that have a high school education or less. SAT scores also reflect the emphasis on education by far surpassing the state and national averages.

Employment and Wages – Cary’s labor force is 57,561 with almost 49,000 people working in Cary, the majority in the service and retail sectors. The Wake County labor force is continuing to grow. Employment figures show the largest employment sectors to be Retail, Health Care and Social Assistance, Educational Services and Public Administration. Employment growth has been slow, but the largest sectors did show positive gains. Cary and Wake County area wages have grown faster than the Raleigh MSA.

Economic Indicators – Median household income in Cary continues on a terrific positive growth trend and remains well above the County, MSA and state averages. Retail sales are strong in Cary and Wake County at a time when many North Carolina communities saw retail sales figures decline. Residential construction continues to grow each year with over 1,200 units permitted in Cary in 2004.

Population

The Town of Cary’s 2005 population estimate is 112,934, up 19.5% from 2000. The town’s population increased at an annual average rate of 11.6% between 1990 and 2000. The rate of growth during that decade was significantly faster in Cary than in Wake County as a whole, which grew at an annual average of 4.7%. The 2005 population estimate of Wake County is 744,048, and by 2010 the population is projected to be 863,922. Cary’s rate of growth is faster than the rate of growth for the County and Raleigh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

Population


1990

2000

2005

2010

Town of Cary

43,858

94,536

112,934

131,887

Wake County

426,311

627,866

744,048

863,922

Raleigh MSA

735,480

797,026

941,783

1,090,840

US Census Bureau and ESRI forecasts for 2005 and 2010

Age Demographics

Cary’s age demographics are younger than those of Wake County and the Raleigh MSA. The youth age group, 0 – 19, in Cary is expected to decline slightly, while the over 55 age group is expected to see an almost 40% increase from 2005 to 2010. Retirees and the semi-retired will become a more important part of the Cary economy. The statistics of the county and MSA closely mirror those of Cary. The significant difference is that the county and MSA are expected to lose more in the young working age group of 19 - 34 than Cary.

Percent of Population by Age Group

Age Groups

Cary

Wake County

Raleigh MSA


2000

2010

2000

2010

2000

2010

0 – 19

30.8%

29.2%

27.9%

27.4%

28.1%

27.5%

19 – 34

21.8%

20.1%

25.9%

22.2%

25.1%

21.4%

35 – 54

35.7%

34.5%

31.8%

32.3%

31.6%

32.2%

55+

11.6%

16.2%

14.4%

18%

15.3%

18.7%

NC State Data Center

Education

The population of Cary and Wake County is achieving higher education levels. The educational attainment statistics for Cary are dramatically different from Wake County. The bachelors degree and graduate or professional degree categories show marked improvement. The category with the most significant change is in “graduate or professional degree” where the percentage rose from 16.3% to 23%, a 41% increase. Wake County saw the same increase in educational attainment, but the improvements are more dramatic in the Town.

Cary is served by the Wake County Public School System. SAT scores for the County School System have been steadily well above the state and national averages. The average score of 1063 is 6% above the state average and 4% above the national average.

Educational Attainment


Wake County

Wake County


1990

% of pop. Over 25

2000

% of pop. Over 25

Less than H. S.

14.6%

10.7%

H. S. graduate

21.4%

17.8%

Some College No Degree

20.1%

20.1%

Associate Degree

8.6%

7.6%

Bachelors Degree

24.4%

29.6%

Graduate or Professional Degree

10.9%

14.3%

US Census Bureau

Educational Attainment


Cary

Cary


1990

% of pop. Over 25

2000

% of pop. Over 25

Less than H. S.

5.1%

4.9%

H. S. graduate

15%

10.7%

Some College No Degree

21.4%

16.3%

Associate Degree

9.7%

7.3%

Bachelors Degree

32.5%

37.7%

Graduate or Professional Degree

16.3%

23%

US Census Bureau

SAT Scores


2002

2003

2004

Wake County

1067

1067

1063

North Carolina

998

1001

1006

United States

1020

1026

1026

NC Department of Public Instruction

Labor Force

The NC Employment Security Commission recently began collecting labor force data on some cities and towns. Cary information is beginning January 2005. The November 2005 labor force data show that the Cary labor force is made up of 57,561. The labor force grew over the 2005 period. The amount of growth attributable to seasonal changes versus actual sustained growth will not be available until annual averages can be compared.

Unlike most of North Carolina, the Wake County labor force has grown steadily over the last five years. The labor force grew at about 5.6% per year over the five-year period of 2000 to 2004 and is currently at 404,212. That is significantly faster than statewide labor force growth (3.5%) for the same period but slower than the Raleigh MSA, which grew at an annual average of 7.2%. The NC Employment Security Commission began reporting labor force information for the Town of Cary in 2005. The current labor force for the Town is 57,088. Most North Carolina communities saw a decrease in the labor force after 2000 until the economy rebounded in 2003/2004. The Wake County labor force growth shows the region’s strength as an employment hub. About 56% of Wake County’s population is in the labor force.

Wake County Labor Force

Chart not available

NC Employment Security Commission

Unemployment

Unemployment information is gathered with labor force data and, therefore, is only available for Cary beginning in January 2005. The current unemployment rate for the Town of Cary is 3.4%, less than the 4% of Wake County.

Wake County’s unemployment rate has mirrored that of the Raleigh MSA; both are significantly below the North Carolina unemployment rate. The NC Employment Security Commission began reporting an unemployment rate for the Town of Cary in 2005. The August 2005 unemployment rate for the Town is 3.4%. That rate is lower that Wake County, the Raleigh MSA and the State average. Generally, unemployment began to rise as the economy slowed in 2000. After peaking in 2002, unemployment inched lower as the local and regional economy recovers. At 4.0%, the rate is among the lowest in North Carolina.

Unemployment Rates

Chart not available

NC Employment Security Commission

Workforce Commuting Data

There is a great deal of commuting into and out of Wake County. Of the total number of people working in Wake County, about 24% commute into the County. In-commuters come from Johnston County (23,628), Durham County (13,929), Franklin County (10,347) and Harnett County (8,841). Out-commuters, 20% of the resident workforce, drive to Durham County (43,351), Johnston County (4,050), Orange County (3,552) and Franklin County (2,430).

Commuting

1990

2000

Working in Wake County

249,943

360,167

Live & work here

201,227

272,432

Live elsewhere & work here

48,716

87,735

% workforce commuting in

20%

24%

Live in Wake County & work elsewhere

35,954

66,170

% resident workers commuting out

15%

20%

US Census Bureau

Employment and Wages

The NC Employment Security Commission does not track employment by city. ESRI data shows that Cary’s 2005 employment base was 48,742. That figure is the number of people working in Cary and includes in-commuters. The majority of Cary’s workers work in the service sector with 43.1% of the total employment base. Out of the 27.5%, 43.1% are classified as “Other” services. Outside of services, the retail trade sector employed the most workers at 26.7% of the employment base.

The Employment Security Commission has tracked employment data by county for years and provides useful data for trends. About 390,000 people work in Wake County. The total number of people working in the county increased from 2002. In the latest annual employment figures available, the largest employment sector is Retail, employing 12.2%. Other large employment sectors include State Government 9.5%, Health Care and Social Assistance employing 9.5%, Public Administration 9% and Educational Services 8.4%.

Employment growth was mixed among industry sectors. Manufacturing employment and Transportation and Warehousing employment each declined by 23%. Administrative and Waste Services declined by 15%. On the other hand, large employment sectors of Retail, Health Care and Social Assistance, Educational Services and Public Administration all saw employment gains from 2000 to 2004.

The leading wage sectors in Wake County are Information, Wholesale Trade and Management of Companies and Enterprises. Public Administration is the only large employment sector, of the four cited above, that pays above the average wage of $39,572. The average wage in the Raleigh MSA in 2004 was $41.340. Wages in Wake County grew 12% from 2000 to 2004. That wage growth is faster than the Raleigh MSA where wages grew 9.8% over the same period.

Wake County Insured Employment and Wages in North Carolina for 2000, 2002 and 2004


2000

2002

2004

Industry

Annual Avg Empl

Avg Annual Wage Per Employee

Annual Avg Empl

Avg Annual Wage Per Employee

Annual Avg Empl

Avg Annual Wage Per Employee

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting

839

$26,531.79

1,282

$35,766.15

1,069

$35,353.99

Mining

880

$64,714.29

943

$67,136.19

241

$58,914.58

Utilities

*

*

1,774

$78,563.53

*

*

Construction

27,673

$34,675.63

27,605

$35,891.11

28,298

$37,785.62

Manufacturing

28,124

$44,708.64

24,020

$48,447.87

21,499

$52,938.90

Wholesale Trade

18,596

$52,318.95

18,571

$57,240.06

18,561

$63,395.40

Retail Trade

46,600

$24,076.20

45,094

$24,734.58

47,572

$25,306.52

Transportation and Warehousing

14,020

$32,498.11

10,716

$37,471.07

10,695

$40,024.84

Information

17,192

$55,805.79

17,434

$60,095.35

16,595

$66,911.92

Finance and Insurance

13,981

$45,603.09

15,311

$52,392.17

14,997

$55,166.32

Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

7,077

$33,152.88

6,790

$33,842.89

7,455

$36,834.73

Professional and Technical Services

29,453

$54,580.13

30,497

$53,705.82

30,743

$58,464.70

Management of Companies and Enterprises

5,801

$50,270.08

7,154

$58,058.41

8,058

$62,515.54

Administrative and Waste Services

33,656

$24,481.86

27,317

$26,704.76

28,463

$27,468.77

Educational Services

28,299

$32,628.43

30,397

$34,894.68

32,665

$35,240.93

Health Care and Social Assistance

29,529

$33,491.65

34,674

$35,926.64

36,992

$38,857.84

Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

5,757

$21,734.85

6,453

$23,046.54

5,766

$22,026.05

Accommodation and Food Services

27,949

$13,614.98

29,121

$13,313.77

30,195

$13,909.18

Other Services, Ex. Public Admin

12,247

$24,578.68

12,214

$25,131.14

12,960

$26,581.10

Public Administration

32,442

$37,414.17

32,676

$39,694.12

35,016

$40,779.17

Unclassified

*

*

352

$33,734.47

1,182

$30,071.05








Total Federal Government

4,830

$46,436.00

4,693

$51,948.00

4,778

$57,616.00

Total State Government

35,214

$36,660.00

35,341

$38,688.00

37,047

$39,260.00

Total Local Government

26,530

$33,540.00

29,093

$36,660.00

31,607

$38,220.00

Total Private Industry

316,129

$35,152.00

311,261

$37,336.00

317,080

$39,468.00

Total All Industries

382,703

$35,308.00

380,388

$37,596.00

390,511

$39,572.00

*Indicates disclosure suppression.

Retail Sales

Retail Sales for Wake County in the 2004-05 fiscal year were $14.611 billion and $2.057 billion in the Town of Cary. The town’s retail sales are within the range of cities of comparable size (Wilmington $3.125 billion, High Point $1.882 billion and Fayetteville $2.986 billion). Most North Carolina communities saw decreases in retail sales from 2000 to 2002, but Cary saw a steady increase until a minimal drop from 2003-04 to 2004-05. The strong retail sales in the town and county are evidence of the strength of the local and regional economy.

Retail Sales in Billions


2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

Cary

$1.837

$1.856

$1.951

$2.115

$2.057

Wake County

$12.546

$12.017

$12.401

$13.420

$14.611

NC Department of Revenue

Median Household Income

Median household income of Cary is significantly higher than the median household income of Wake County and the Raleigh MSA. In 2005, the Cary median household income was $82,808 compared to $64,013 in Wake County and $59,679 in the Raleigh MSA. The state median income for 2005 was $44,845. Cary’s median income is projected to grow 17.3% between 2005 and 2010. That growth is faster than the MSA and state but slightly slower than the County (17.6%).

Chart not available

US Census Bureau and ESRI forecasts for 2005 and 2010

Residential Building Permits

Residential construction has remained strong in Cary. In 2000 and 2004, the data shows significant multi-family developments. In 2002, 2002(?) and 2003 the majority of residential development was single-family. Total building costs rose to a five year high in 2004 at slightly above $200 million. Last year, there were 803 new buildings and 1,261 new units with an average per unit cost of $162,021. That is a $12,000 per unit increase from the other year with significant multi-family development in 2000.

Year

Number of Buildings

Number of Units

Total Building Cost

2000

856

1,149

$172,653,564

2001

624

624

$126,917,583

2002

649

771

$101,348,917

2003

568

604

$114,020,331

2004

803

1,261

$204,308,598

US Census Bureau