Business

State jobless rate ticks down to 5.6%

January 27, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina's unemployment rate fell to 5.6% in December, down from 5.7% the previous month but higher than December 2014, when the rate was 5.4%. The state added 86,800 nonfarm jobs last year, according to a preliminary year-end report, but the figure could exceed 100,000 when revised to include newly created businesses.

Powell charged with four felonies

January 27, 2016

(News & Record, Greensboro)

David Powell, former CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, was charged with two counts of embezzlement and two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. Powell, 51, led the Greensboro-based economic-development organization from 2011 until his resignation in April.

Panthers owner sends entire staff to Super Bowl

January 27, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Jerry Richardson will pay for all Carolina Panthers staff members – including interns – to travel to California for Super Bowl 50. The team's owner also paid for staff to go to the Panthers' only other Super Bowl appearance in 2004.
Related: Durham-based company to supply technology for Super Bowl 50

Report: Durham ranks 4th in VC funding per capita

January 27, 2016

(ExitEvent.com)

When it comes to overall venture-capital funding, North Carolina still lags far behind other states with strong technology sectors. But a new report shows that Durham attracts $475 in venture capital per resident, behind only San Jose, Calif. ($2,146), San Francisco ($1,415) and Boston ($665). Greensboro, the only other North Carolina city on the list, ranked 15th with $97 per capita. The report, from The Atlantic CityLab, was based on Thomson Reuters data from 2012.

Xerox lays off 178 in Cary

January 27, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Xerox Commercial Services is closing a unit in its Cary call center, resulting in 178 job cuts. The layoffs are expected to occur in March. Xerox employs more than 1,600 people in Cary.

2015 was record year for Asheville housing market

January 27, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The median sale price for a home in Asheville was $242,500, a 7.8% increase over the previous record of $225,000. Low inventory and high demand are creating a sellers' market – on Jan. 5, only 1,187 homes were listed on the market in Buncombe County, the lowest level since 2004.

AIG to spin off Greensboro-based United Guaranty

January 27, 2016

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Insurer AIG said in a news release it will begin an initial public offering this year of up to 19.9% of United Guaranty as the first step toward a full separation. United Guaranty, which provides mortgage insurance for lenders, was founded in Greensboro and employs about 600 people there.

Blue Cross working to resolve enrollment errors

January 26, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state's largest health insurer has refunded $1.95 million to more than 4,600 customers whose accounts were overdrafted. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin will meet Tuesday with Blue Cross executives; the agency and the N.C. Attorney General are planning a review to determine if any laws were broken. Blue Cross blames the ongoing problems on a technology upgrade.

Wilmington Chamber supports controversial CSX project

January 26, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce issued a statement supporting the proposed CSX intermodal freight hub near Interstate 95 in Johnston County, citing potential benefits to the ports and Eastern N.C. businesses that use them. Johnston County commissioners have said they support the $272 million project, though they are urging CSX to seek an alternative site after some landowners objected to selling their properties to the rail company.

Charlotte office tower gets $20M renovation

January 26, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

The 40-story Bank of America Plaza will undergo $20 million in upgrades, including a new lobby and exterior facade. The renovations also will add 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The 891,000-square-foot building opened in 1974 as the headquarters for NCNB. Construction will take about a year.