Demographics & Economy

Demographics & Economy – Key Factor Summary

  • Pitt County/Greenville area is a rapidly growing, well diversified employment/service center for Eastern, N.C.
  • Population increased 32.5% from 2000 – 2016
  • Labor force expanded 27% and employment grew by 13.2% between 2000 and 2010
  • Pitt County is leading retail center in central and northern Eastern North Carolina
  • Manufacturing employment accounts for 1 in 11 jobs, government for 1 in 3.4, and health care/social assistance services for 1 in 4.4 (2012 data)
  • Major manufactured products include: chemicals, machinery, fabricated metal products, paper products, apparel, and transportation equipment
  • Reported industrial investments averaged nearly $50 million per year during the 1990’s and $64.8 million annually from 2000 – 2016
  • Medical Center (hospital and med-school) continues as a major catalyst of growth

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A Growing Economy

Pitt County is a rapidly growing, well-diversified employment and service center for eastern North Carolina.  As one of the fastest growing centers in the state, the population increased by 32.5% between 2000 (133,798) and 2016 (177,220).  Pitt County is the 27th most populous county in North Carolina with a current population of 175,532 (July 2015) .  The Greenville MSA, which encompasses all of Pitt County, was the fourth fastest growing MSA in North Carolina during the 2000’s.

From 2000-2017, the civilian labor force expanded by 27% (from 69,869 to 88,890), compared with 12.9% for the state. Within this same period employment increased by 8,805, or 13.2% in Pitt County versus a 3.6% gain statewide.

Preliminary figures indicate employment in Pitt County increased from 82,353 in 2016 to 84,465 in 2017; the labor force in the first quarter of 2017 is 88,890.  The overall rate of unemployment in 2017 decreased to 5.0% from 6.0% the previous year. New and expanded industrial investments for 2017-18 included Grady-White Boats and Carolina Poultry Power. These and other primary investments for 2017-18 total in excess of $23 million and will provide over 80 new jobs.

Pitt County retains its position as the number one retail trade center in the central and northern areas of eastern North Carolina.  Taxable sales activity for fiscal year ending June 2018 ($2.356 billion) shows Pitt County ranked at 12th in the state with a 6.96% increase over the previous fiscal year.

Boardings for 2016 at Pitt-Greenville Airport were down 15.4% from 2015 with a total of 93,550 for the year.