Report details military's economic impacts on state

Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM.

“We certainly know around here because of Cherry Point, but the more the rest of North Carolina understands the importance, the better we all are as a state,” Finlayson said. “To the extent we can educate those in the areas of the state where its impact is not obvious, we should.”

With military drawdowns approaching as well as federal budget cuts impacting the military, Finlayson said he believes Gov. Pat McCrory and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker are aware of the military’s importance and are willing to help protect state military bases.

 “It’s going to take a state effort to protect and grow our assets here,” he said.

According to the report, there were 108,926 active-duty military personnel assigned to all units in North Carolina as of March 31, with 46,674 Marines, including 7,100 at Cherry Point. Additionally by service branch, the Army has 48,982, the Air Force has 6,984, the Navy has 4,714, and the Coast Guard has 1,572 personnel.

Fleet Readiness Center East, the aircraft repair and maintenance facility at Cherry Point, is the largest civilian employer east of I-95 in the state with an annual payroll of $275 million.

The presence of the military in metropolitan areas in 2011 contributed to greater economic stability during the Great Recession, the report concluded, with recession unemployment lower than similar nonmilitary areas.

Contracts awarded mainly by the Department of Defense represent another significant source of jobs and revenue, according to the report. In 2012, those contracts totaled $3.44 billion in 82 counties, but mostly in 10 areas. The Eastern Region, including Craven, Onslow and Wayne counties, accounted for 33 percent of the revenue attached to 11,677 separate actions.

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