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Mike Walden, N.C. State University

RALEIGH, N.C. — The two-year economic decline – called by some the “Great Recession” – is coming to an end. Like the nation, North Carolina will return to economic growth in 2010 and 2011.

Already output from the state’s factories has increased, and activity in the all-important housing market has passed its recessionary bottom and is moving higher.
Job losses continue, but at a slower pace, putting the state’s employment market on track to generate gains in the first quarter of 2010.

At that point, the state’s unemployment rate will peak between 11.3 percent and 11.5 percent, although adding those former workers who have quit the labor force would push the rate to a full percentage point higher. Still, we predict the state’s jobless rate will fall to 9.8 percent by the end of 2010 and to 8.9 percent at the end of 2011.

Also, while the pace of economic activity will be stronger in North Carolina than in the nation, recovery in the job market will proceed at a slower rate than it did after previous recessions.

Economic disparity will continue among North Carolina’s regions. Unemployment rates will drop in all of North Carolina’s metropolitan areas in late 2010 and 2011, yet job growth will be strongest in the Charlotte, Triangle, and Wilmington regions, and several regions will continue to have unemployment rates above 10 percent at the end of 2011.

Read the entire forecast on .