NC Military Growth Means Economic Explosion

Bill Hitchcock


More Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen will call North Carolina home

“ Among the sectors expected to grow by at least $100 million are construction; retail trade; real estate, renting and leasing”

The military is big business in North Carolina, and it’s about to get even bigger. A new study by the N.C. Department of Commerce forecasts that in 2013, military spending in the state will have increased by nearly $3 billion over 2007 levels. And that increased spending will help create thousands of jobs. “The military provides substantial positive economic benefits to the state. The military in North Carolina supplies quality jobs, stimulates the production of goods and services, and increases the amount of money consumers have to spend on goods and services,” according to North Carolina’s Military Footprint. The study used economic modeling software from Amherst, Mass.-based Regional Economic Models Inc. to calculate the total impact of the military.

In 2007, military employment, capital investment and contracts contributed $23.4 billion, or 7%, of North Carolina’s gross domestic product. In five years, that figure is expected to top $26 billion. Employment related to the military will increase statewide by 11% in the same time frame, the study predicts. What’s fueling the increase in money and jobs? By 2013, North Carolina’s military bases will undergo a substantial transformation as a result of the 2005 Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which recommended closure and/or realignment of selected U.S. military bases. North Carolina, which already had the nation’s third-largest active-duty population, will benefit from closings in other states.

Fort Bragg in Cumberland County will be the new headquarters for the U.S. Army Forces Command and the U.S. Army Reserve Command, which are relocating from Georgia. The move will result in $2.4 billion in construction at Fort Bragg by 2013, the study says, along with the addition of 2,400 troops, more than 2,000 civilian employees and 1,400 private contractors. The Marine Corps also will contribute to the growth. Camp Lejeune and the New River and Cherry Point air stations will increase troop levels by more than 12,000. Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro also has gained troops. Federal civilian employment will increase by an estimated 1,815, and an additional $3.1 billion in construction is expected. All told, new military activity will total about 46,000 jobs by 2013, adding to about 416,000 individuals – 8% of total state employment — that are either directly supported by the military or Coast Guard or have jobs supported by military bases in North Carolina.

It translates into a nearly $1.9 billion increase in real disposable personal income. Civilian businesses will benefit, too. In 2013, new military activities are expected to increase output — the total value of final and intermediate products — by $1.8 billion. Among the sectors expected to grow by at least $100 million are construction; retail trade; real estate, renting and leasing; professional and technical services; and health care and social assistance. The total value of goods and services demanded by consumers is expected to be $662 billion in 2013, of which $3.9 billion can be attributed to anticipated military increases.

Source: Business NC


Author’s Yougler Profile is at  Bill Hitchcock.

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