CREW Charlotte November 2022 Luncheon: Economic Outlook for the US and Our Region: “Where are all the Workers?”
Submitted by Keiko Pace, Stephens Office Systems
CREW Charlotte gathered at Byron’s on November 8th for Laura Ulrich’s luncheon presentation on the Economic Outlook for our region and the US. It was a packed luncheon with the highest attended luncheon since covid.
Laura Ulrich is the Senior Regional Economist at the Charlotte Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She spoke about our regional and national economic update stating that 2021 had good growth but that 2022 was a bit bumpy. She explained that even though we had 2 quarters of negative GDP growth in 2022, that does not necessarily mean we are heading into a recession. Even though everyone is talking of the looming recession, she reminded us that an official recession has not been declared and that things are constantly changing.
Employment is doing well both in Charlotte and around our region and the Carolinas are leading the employment recovery. Nationally, we have officially reached above pre-Covid levels of employment. She cited the lack of workers isn’t necessarily from people not working, but that people have chosen to work in other fields or industries since covid. Teachers, for example, were the highest profession that seemed to have lost the most amount of workers. Flexible work environments, women needing to provide for their families and work at the same time, etc has created a shift in the workforce. Covid also forced a lot of older workers into retirement. Surprisingly, she stated that the young male population ages 25-35 has seen the greatest decline in the workforce at this time.
Estimates for 4th quarter growth show that 2022 will remain flat. What does that mean for 2023? Analysts are unsure. There are several factors that could contribute to growth or speedbumps for the upcoming year. Some of the factors include: UK/ Russia situation, inflation, a covid variant, or anything that could make the supply chain worse. In conclusion, Charlotte and the Carolinas are doing well with high employment rates, many people moving to the area daily, and a strong base of diversified companies and industries in our region.
For a copy of Laura’s presentation, please click here.