North Carolina may have lost out on the NCAA championships, the NBA All-Star Game and Bruce Springsteen thanks to its hotly contested transgender bathroom law, but the state’s economy didn’t miss a beat.
Economic indicators released for 2016 show that the boycott has failed to derail North Carolina as a regional and national powerhouse, despite the loss of high-profile performances and sporting events in response to House Bill 2, signed March 23 by then-Gov. Pat McCrory.
Tourism has thrived: Hotel occupancy, room rates and demand for rooms set records in 2016, according to the year-end hotel lodging report issued last week by VisitNC, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
Meanwhile, North Carolina ranked fourth in the nation for attracting and expanding businesses with the arrival of 289 major projects, and seventh in projects per capita — the same as in 2015, according to Site Selection magazine, which released its 2016 rankings in the March edition.
North Carolina finished first for drawing corporate facilities in the eight-state South Atlantic region, said Site Selection, which uses figures tracked by the Conway Projects Database.
And in November, both Forbes and Site Selection magazine ranked North Carolina the No. 2 state for business climate.
Also unscathed was the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which registered at 5.3 percent in January 2016 and 5.3 percent in January 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.