RTI International develops online tool measuring NC economic development, business climate, job growth

Dashboard developed for the North Carolina Chamber Foundation available online


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – As part of a contract with the North Carolina Chamber Foundation, RTI International developed an online tool to track North Carolina’s progress in economic development, business climate and job growth.

Called Dashboard 2030, the tool includes leading metrics for indicators of progress in four areas important for state and business competitiveness– education and talent supply, competitive business climate, entrepreneurship and innovation, and infrastructure and growth leadership.

The interactive map-based tool offers timely information on how North Carolina compares to other states and how counties within North Carolina compare to one another. Where possible, the dashboard also shows North Carolina’s performance by rural, suburban and urban designations and by economic regions.

Statewide findings include:

  • Businesses with 10 to 99 employees accounted for 1.3 million jobs in 2012
  • Average compensation per job in 2011 was $52,598
  • Five counties, including Durham, have an average compensation per job that is higher than the national average
  • The mean travel to work time in 2012 was 23.7 minutes
  • Twenty-eight states, including Virginia had a higher percentage of high-tech employment than N.C. in 2008
  •  The six-year graduation rate from North Carolina’s universities has exceeded the national rate for 10 years
  • The number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees awarded to 18-24 year olds in the state increased 6.1 percent from 2000 to 2009

The dashboard is available online to the public and can be used by anyone with a modern internet browser interested in issues about North Carolina competitiveness, such as business leaders, public officials, and concerned citizens.

“The dashboard is designed as a user-friendly platform to inform conversations about economic development performance in the state,” said Sara Lawrence, senior manager of economic development and the project’s director. “We recognize there are additional indicators that are important and encourage users to supplement their use of Dashboard 2030 with their own research to ensure they have the information most relevant to their areas of interest.”

The researchers used the most recently available data from 2000 to present. The data used to develop the dashboard came mostly from publicly available sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Science Foundation.