Website Overview


This website presents and analyzes up-to-date information on seven of North Carolina's key industries, including: banking, biotechnology, furniture, hog farming, information technology, textiles & apparel, and tobacco. Each of the seven industries has information that falls under the following sections:

  1. Overview: This section introduces the key sections of the website, including (1) the structure of the industry using a value chain framework, (2) an overview of the industry across multiple areas including the history of the industry in North Carolina, the labor market, international trade and policy, and (3) the key trends and dynamics that are shaping this industry now and in the future.
  2. Tables: This section provides labor market and international trade data in table format for each industry. The tables are referenced with hyperlinks throughout the other sections by industry, but are all listed on the Table page for comparative purposes. The Table section also includes Table 1a on Top NC Employers by industry in 2012.
  3. Charts: This section provides labor market and international trade data in chart format for each industry. The charts are referenced with hyperlinks throughout the other sections by industry, but are all listed on the Chart page for comparative purposes.
  4. Maps: This section provides labor market and international trade data in geographic map format for each industry. The maps are referenced with hyperlinks throughout the other sections by industry, but are all listed on the Map page for comparative purposes.
  5. Value Chain: Visual, interactive depiction and description of the value chain. Users can place the cursor over a value chain box to view statistics and descriptions on each part of the industry or see the parts of the chain top NC employers are engaged in by placing the cursor over the red, numbered circles across the top of the visual. The data provided in the mouseovers is for North Carolina for 2012 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This feature was removed from the website when Flash was no longer supported.
  6. Corporations: This section provides profiles on five of the top employers in the given industry in North Carolina. Information on other top employers is provided in Table 1a.
  7. Workers and Jobs: This section contains information on the changes in employment and wages in the industry as well as the advantages of North Carolina as a hub for this industry. This section discusses the current status and historical trends in labor market conditions related to establishments, employment and wages within the North Carolina and U.S. industry. This analysis primarily uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) based on our definition of the industry. Links are provided to the underlying data in the form of interactive tables, charts and maps throughout this section. The visuals that relate to this section are 2, 3, 4 and 8.
  8. Production & Trade: This section discusses the current status and historical trends related to imports and exports by industry. It covers trends for the industry in North Carolina, the U.S. and top competing states and shows North Carolina’s footprint in relationship to the U.S. industry and other states. This analysis is based on our NAICS-based definition of the industry using data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division available on the USA Trade Online website. Links are provided to the underlying data in the form of interactive tables, charts and maps throughout this section. The visuals that relate to this section are 5 and 6.
  9. Policy: This section provides information on the role of local public policy in North Carolina to the given industry. This section reviews relevant policies that impact the industry at the state, national and international levels. Policy focus areas include the labor market, industrial development, economic development and international trade.
  10. Resources: The focus of this page is to provide brief descriptions and links to key industry, government and educational resources available for each industry in general and specifically in North Carolina.

Tables, Charts & Maps*:

Information on establishments (2), employment (3) and average annual wages (4) is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages. The data represents statistics for privately-owned establishments (excludes government-owned entities). U.S. data and the data by U.S. state exclude Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Data on exports (5) and imports (6) is from USA Trade Online, which is compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division. Information on layoffs and closings (table, chart and map 8) is from the NC Department of Commerce, Announced Business Closings and Permanent Layoffs.

The labeling system for the tables, charts and maps sections is the same for each industry in which information is available. The initial letter (T, C or M) indicates the format in which the data is presented (table, chart or map). The number following the letter indicates the type of data presented: establishments (2), employment (3), average annual wages (4), exports (6), imports (7) and layoffs/plant closings (8). Lastly, the lower case letter following the number indicates the geographic scope of the visual: North Carolina (a), the United States (b) and top (or all) U.S. states (c). For example, tables pertaining to North Carolina’s establishments will be labeled as “T2a” for each industry and charts on U.S. exports are labeled as “C6b”.


New Features

In 2007, substantial upgrades were made in terms of both the scope of datasets used to conduct the research and the means by which the information is visually displayed on the website. With support from Duke's Center for Instructional Technology, the 2007 version featured a redesign and reconfiguration of all industry value chains and interactive, geographic maps of all firms in each industry color-coded by their position in the value chain. These visualization tools enabled the initial conversation from static to interactive data. The current version of the website still uses updated versions of the interactive value chains. See the Value Chain Video Demo for more information on this unique feature of the website.

In the current version (2014), updates were made to further increase the interactivity of the website, increase the number of years in which data is available and expand the scope of the site to include systematic analysis of not only North Carolina’s position in each industry, but also the position of North Carolina vis-à-vis other important U.S. states in both the past and present. The main updates in the 2014 version compared to the 2007 version are listed in the Table below; new features are highlighted in red.

Table 1: New NCGE Features (2014 Version)
Focus Area Current New
Geographic Analysis NC NC, U.S. & Top U.S. States
Data Visual Formats Tables & Maps Tables, Charts & Maps
Data Format Static Interactive
Years of Data 1996 & 2006 1992-2012
Geographic Maps NC Counties NC Counties, U.S. & World
Production & Trade Export Export & Import; New Section


Geographic Levels of Analysis: on the current version of NCGE, data and analysis on establishments, employment, wages, exports, imports and policy are available at up to three levels for each industry: North Carolina, the United States and all states/other top U.S. states. In the 2007 version, data was primarily only provided for North Carolina.

Data Visual Formats: for all geographic levels and data types, information can now be viewed in three formats: table, chart or map using a similar numbering convention across industries, data type and format making it easy to find comparable information (see Tables, Charts & Maps for labeling scheme).

Data Format: In the 2007 version of the website, data was only available in static formats for select years for a select number of segments of the value chain. In the current version, all tables, charts and maps are interactive. This means the user can select which variables are displayed, including the year, value chain segment, product category or NAICS codes. Each visual is displayed using similar default parameters across industries, but these can easily be changed by users interested in exploring other trends. The new visuals were created by Stacey Frederick using Tableau software and can be modified within the NCGE website or on the larger versions provided on the Tableau website.

Years of Data: the current version of the website provides labor market data (establishments, workers & wages) for twenty years starting in 1992 through 2012. Export data is available from 2002 through 2012 and import data from 2008 to 2012. In the previous version (2007), data was only available for up to three years (1996, 2002 and 2006).

Geographic Maps: in addition to North Carolina county-level maps of establishments and employees, the current version has maps of establishments and employment for the United States by state and world maps of the import and export destinations for North Carolina, the United States and other top U.S. states.

Production & Trade: export data is now provided at the state and national level for all industries in which data is available. As a new feature in the current version, import data is also provided at both the state and national level. Furthermore, there is a new section on the website “Production & Trade” dedicated to analysis of this information.

New URL: in order to increase the visibility of the NCGE website, a new domain name was chosen for the NCGE website:

In addition to data-related updates, information across all other sections of the website (overview, workers & wages, policy and resources) has been updated and expanded. Furthermore, the layout and presentation of information across industries is now in a more consistent and easy-to-use format.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are NAICS codes?

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to identify industries. NAICS was developed jointly with Canada and Mexico to enable comparable statistics among the three North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries. NAICS is a production-oriented classification system for business establishments (defined as a single physical location at which economic activity occurs) in which economic units using like processes to produce goods or services are grouped together. This system was implemented in 1997 to replace the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system (

NAICS is a six-digit system designed so that the industrial coverage is progressively narrower with the successive additional digits, with six-digits as the standard. The broadest level of classification is contained in the first two digits that determine the sector an establishment falls within. The next level of aggregation (three digits) determines the sub-sector and the fourth level corresponds to the industry group. The fifth digit represents the industry and the sixth digit the U.S. industry. See below for an example.

Breakdown of a NAICS Code
NAICS level NAICS code Description
Sector 31-33 Manufacturing
Sub-sector 313 Textile Mills
Industry group 3132 Fabric Mills
Industry 31321 Broadwoven Fabric Mills
U.S. Industry 313210 Broadwoven Fabric Mills

Which NAICS codes were used to represent each industry?

The following NAICS codes were used to define each of the seven industries using the various data sources. If a particular code was not used or additional parameters were set, this is noted in parenthesis. Furthermore, “*” indicates all NAICS codes beyond that digit are included.
Banks & Finance
(only establishments with 100+ employees were included to create Table 1a)
  • 522*: Credit intermediation
  • 523*: Securities & Commodities Intermediation
  • 525*: Funds, Trusts and Other Financial Vehicles

Data for the biotechnology industry is broken into four categories. This representation of the biotechnology industry is similar to the definition in following report: “Battelle. (2013). 2012 Evidence and Opportunity: Impacts of the Biosciences in North Carolina. Report prepared for the N.C. Biotechnology Center.”

Drugs & Pharmaceuticals
  • 3254*: Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
  • 4242*: Druggists' Goods Merchant Wholesalers (not included in import/export data)
Research, Testing & Labs (not included in import/export data)
  • 54171*: Physical, Engineering and Biological Research
  • 621511: Medical Laboratories
Ag Feedstock & Chemicals
  • 3112: Grain & Oilseed Milling Products (import/export data)
    • 311221: Wet Corn Milling (labor market data)
    • 311222: Soybean Processing (labor market data)
    • 311223: Other Oilseed Processing (labor market data)
    • 311224: Soybean & Other Oilseed Processing (NAICS12) (labor market data)
  • 325193: Ethyl Alcohol Manufacturing (not included in import/export data)
  • 3253*: Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing
Medical Devices & Equipment
  • 3345: Navigational/Measuring/Medical/Control Instruments (import/export data)
    • 334510: Electromedical Apparatus Manufacturing (labor market data)
    • 334516: Analytical Laboratory Instrument Manufacturing (labor market data)
    • 334517: Irradiation Apparatus Manufacturing (labor market data)                    
  • 3391: Medical Equipment & Supplies (import/export data)
    • 339112: Surgical and Medical Instrument Manufacturing (labor market data)
    • 339113: Surgical Appliance and Supplies Manufacturing (labor market data)
    • 339114: Dental Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing (labor market data)
  • Final Products
    • 337*: Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing
  • Distribution (not included in import/export data; only establishments with 10+ employees were included to create Table 1a)
    • 42321*: Furniture Merchant Wholesalers
Hog Farming
(import/export data is not included)
  • Raw Materials
    • 1122*: Hog and Pig Farming
  • Components
    • 311611: Animal, except Poultry, Slaughtering
    • 311613: Rendering and Meat Byproduct Processing
  • Final Products
    • 311612: Meat Processed from Carcasses
  • Distribution
    • 42447*: Meat and Meat Product Merchant Wholesalers
Information Technology

The IT industry is divided into three categories and value chain segments. Only establishments with 10+ employees were included to create Table 1a.

  • Raw Materials: Semiconductors & Circuit Boards
    • 334412: Bare Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing
    • 334413: Semiconductors and Related Device Manufacturing
    • 334418: Printed Circuit Assembly Manufacturing
  • Components & Final Products
    • 3341*: Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing
    • 3342*: Communications Equipment Manufacturing
  • Components
    • 3346*: Magnetic Media Manufacturing and Reproducing
    • 5112*: Software Publishers
Hardware/Software Services (not included in import/export data)
  • 5415*: Computer System Design and Related Services
Textiles & Apparel
  • Components
    • 313*: Textile Mills
    • 32522*: Artificial Fiber & Filament Manufacturing (not included in import/export data)
  • Final Products
    • 314*: Textile Product Mills
    • 315*: Apparel Manufacturing
  • Distribution (not included in import/export data; only establishments with 10+ employees were included to create Table 1a)
    • 42322*: Home Furnishing Wholesalers
    • 42431*: Piece Goods Merchant Wholesalers
    • 42432*: Men's and Boys' Clothing Merchant Wholesalers
    • 42433*: Women's and Children's Clothing Merchant Wholesalers
  • Raw Materials (not included in import/export data)
    • 11191*: Tobacco Farming
  • Components & Final Products
    • 3122*: Tobacco Manufacturing
  • Distribution (not included in import/export data)
    • 42494*: Tobacco and Tobacco Product Wholesalers

How was the Table 1a on top NC employers created for each industry?

Each of the seven industries included in the website has a listing of the Top 10-15 firms based on employment for all locations owned by the same firm in the representative industry within North Carolina. The information in Table 1a is based on data from Dun & Bradstreet’s Hoover’s Online Pro database, secondary news sources and in some cases personal communication with the company.

The list of top employers is based on employment for all establishments (unless otherwise indicated) using the NAICS codes listed above for each industry.

Who should I contact to provide feedback on the website?

Please visit our Contact Us page to provide suggestions, questions, and comments on the North Carolina in the Global Economy website.