Among the principles that the Cape Fear REALTORS ® embrace is Ensuring Economic Vitality. It is only with a vibrant economy that we will have the quality of life that so many of us enjoy, and the ability to achieve the American dream of homeownership.
If you have studied Wilmington history, you know that our city was once the capital of North Carolina. The proximity to the Cape Fear River and easy access to the ocean made Wilmington not just the seat of government, but also the economic center of North Carolina.
Going back to the 1700s, shipping put Wilmington on the map for both imported goods and the export of items such as naval stores (turpentine, rosin, tar and pitch). The opening of the Weldon Railroad in 1840, enabled Wilmington to become the largest city in North Carolina by 1850. The economic growth through the period following the Civil War provided quality jobs to all citizens, including African Americans who held key positions in government and commerce prior to the coup in 1898. The early 20th century allowed for continued expansion in the area, and World War II brought a boom as Wilmington became a major shipbuilding hub.
Along with the prosperous economy came a quality of life in Wilmington known throughout the southeast.
If you talk to a Wilmington native, they will tell you about what happened in 1960 when the railroad left. Unemployment skyrocketed and our historic downtown was decimated. However, due to the efforts of City and community leaders, recovery came to Wilmington with the arrival of new industries including GE and Corning providing residents with quality jobs.
Now as Wilmington continues to grow, it is essential that our economy grows as well. It is only through collaborative efforts and innovative, strategic regional initiatives that we will be able to attract higher wage jobs in the region. Data from the BLS (click here to view BLS data) demonstrates that wages in all sectors in the Wilmington area are below the national average.
COVID-19 has brought about new challenges and opportunities to attract quality jobs to the Wilmington region. The move to work from home, works to our advantage – why not live at the beach if you can work from anywhere? However, constraints of housing availability and affordability may make it harder for larger employers to locate in the region.
Cape Fear Realtors® is committed to working along the community’s economic development organizations to be ensure innovative policymaking, planning, and recruitment so that the region is able to attract higher wage jobs.
Cape Fear REALTORS® and its nearly 3,000 members are the region’s Voice of Real Estate. Cape Fear REALTORS® through advocacy, education, and community involvement support efforts to protect the rights of property owners, to promote the availability of housing, and to provide resources to guarantee every individual has the right to share in the “American Dream”. For further information on this topic and the association, please visit www.capefear.realtor or contact the Cape Fear REALTORS® at 910-762-7400.
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