Report details military's economic impacts on state

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

Craven County was third of the top 10 counties in North Carolina for DoD contract revenue with $190.4 million from 2,431 separate contracts.

The report, completed by the Commerce Department’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division, is supposed to be the most comprehensive breakdown and analysis of the military’s impact on North Carolina since 2008, before the major buildup that is now being trimmed down.

The report concluded that “having a strong military presence shapes North Carolina in other ways,” particularly the implications of the skills personnel can bring to the state’s workforce when they leave the military.

The military occupational mix shows areas of overlap with some of the state’s largest civilian occupational groups, including health care, automotive and transportation, food service, and emerging industry clusters such as aerospace and aviation-related industries.

The report notes that an average of 8,000 people per year left military service from 2007 to 2012, a figure expected to surge as the country winds down two major wars and realigns troop levels.

About 80 percent of those leaving the military from now through 2018 are expected to be 30 years old or younger, many with technical skills that could enhance the private sector economy, according to the report.

There are about 796,000 veterans who list North Carolina as home. That number is projected to be 150,000 less by 2040, the report said, a slower decline than other places, thereby increasing the state’s total share of the veteran population. That has implications for health care and other significant demographics for state and regional planning.

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