is charlotte weird?

Finding the Best Job in Charlotte

Now that college graduation season is behind us, it’s time for new graduates to head out into the workforce and start looking for jobs.

And to provide some help to those looking to stay in Charlotte or relocate to the area, I’ve compiled some data on the labor market in the general region comprising Charlotte, NC, Gastonia, NC, and Rock Hill, SC.

Specifically, clicking on the image below will bring up three interactive graphics about the labor market in the Charlotte region:

Graphic A) A list of the top 40 employers in Charlotte, rank-ordered according to the number of people employed at each company.1*

Graphic B) Average annual salaries for specific occupations and major employment sectors in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill region.2

Graphic C) A scatter plot comparing median annual salaries for various occupations in Charlotte to opportunities for employment, as indicated by number of people currently employed in each occupation.2

*Side note: Remember that Huffington Post article from back in March 2014 about how Charlotte is one of the weirdest cities in the country? Well, contrary to the author’s claims, the top 3 employers in the area are NOT Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Red Ventures (though RV continues to grow). On the contrary, the three largest employers in Charlotte are Carolinas Healthcare System (32,500 employees), Wells Fargo (20,600 employees), and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System (18,143 employees). Click here, here, and here to read our other posts dedicated to fact-checking this Huffington Post article.

Click on the image below to view interactive graphics of the labor market in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill region:


Instructions on How to Use the Interactive Graphics:

Note that Graphics A, B, and C can be sorted and filtered in a number of different ways to provide different perspectives on the labor market in the Charlotte area. Below are some instructions to help you get the most out of what each graphic has to offer.

1. Graphic A can be sorted alphabetically by company name or by number of employees (highest to lowest by default). You can re-sort the data by hovering your cursor over either column header (i.e., “Company” or “# Employees”) and clicking on the icon that appears.

Similarly, Graphic B can be sorted alphabetically by “Title” or by numeric value for each column of data, such as Median Salary, Mean Salary, Total Employed, 10th Percentile Wage, 25th Percentile Wage, 75th Percentile Wage, 90th Percentile Wage, or Location Quotient.

A note about this last column of data – sorting by Labor Quotient can be helpful for identifying a type of work that is relatively unique to the Charlotte area. As defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“The location quotient represents the ratio of an occupation’s share of employment in a given area to that occupation’s share of employment in the U.S. as a whole. For example, an occupation that makes up 10 percent of employment in a specific metropolitan area compared with 2 percent of U.S. employment would have a location quotient of 5 for the area in question.”

2. Graphics B and C can be filtered to display data for either specific occupations (e.g., Family and General Practitioners, Physics Teachers, Postsecondary, Retail Salespersons, etc.) or major employment sectors (e.g., Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations, Education, Training, and Library Occupations, Sales and Related Occupations, etc.). Sorting in this way can be accomplished using the filters labeled B.1 and C.1 for graphics B and C, respectively.

3. Graphics B and C also support keyword searches. For example, if you wanted to see a list of all occupations containing the word “teacher” rank-ordered by median salary, you would simply set the filter in B.1 to “detailed” (for specific occupations) and then type “teacher” into the filter labeled B.2.

4. When viewing detailed occupations in Graphic C (i.e., when filter C.1 is set to “detailed”), the data can be filtered according to major employment sector by using the filter labeled C.3. This permits you to view the relationship between median salaries and opportunities for employment for only those occupations that fall under a chosen employment sector (e.g., Management Occupations).

5. Finally, hovering your cursor over a data point in Graphic C will bring up information related to that specific data point (occupation title, median salary, mean salary, total employed, etc.).

All occupation and sector titles displayed in Graphics B and C are the official designations used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Sources for Data:

1 Charlotte Chamber of Commerce (data recent as of 2012)

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. May 2013 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

Is Charlotte Really all that Weird? A Look at Religious Demographics

This is Part 3 of our continuing series fact-checking the Huffington Post article titled, “15 Reasons Why Charlotte is the Weirdest.” If you missed our first two posts, you can read Part 1 by clicking here and Part two by clicking here.

As in our earlier posts, we’ll be taking a look at how Charlotte compares to the other U.S. cities that rank among the top 25 according to population (Charlotte is currently ranked # 17).

In this post, we’ll specifically take a look at data on the religious demographics of our city in order to address the following claim about Charlotte:

Huffington Post Claim: “Everything Is Oddly Evangelical”


Is Charlotte really all that weird? A look at number of notable residents

This is Part 2 of our continuing series investigating the claims made about Charlotte in a recent Huffington Post article titled, “15 Reasons Why Charlotte is the Weirdest.” Click here to read Part 1, in which we investigated the claim that no one currently living in Charlotte is actually from nearby surrounding areas.

In this post, we’re taking a closer look at the following claim:

Huffington Post Claim:

Charlotte has three celebrities (Michael Jordan, Cam Newton, and Ryan Lochte), which makes it relatively easy to stalk spot them around town.


Is Charlotte really all that weird? A look at percentage of residents born in the same state.

The Huffington Post recently published an article called 15 Reasons Why Charlotte is the Weirdest.

Although the article is probably not meant to be taken entirely seriously (at least that’s my hope, otherwise it’s pretty poorly written piece full of cherry-picked criticisms and unsubstantiated claims), it generated quite a response from some Charlotte locals. For instance, Creative Loafing Charlotte quickly published a rebuttal that is partly a critique and criticism of the original Huffington Post piece and partly a listing of what they at CLC regard as some of the more legitimate quirks of our city.

Given the largely negative response this article elicited throughout much of Charlotte, we thought it would be interesting to take a deeper look into some of the points the author raised and to “fact-check” each of the claims for which we can find available and relevant data (some points the author raises, such as the fact that Downtown is called Uptown, can’t necessarily be disputed with data, so we won’t focus on those…it’s up to you as to whether you think it is “weird” to refer to the center of the city as Uptown rather than Downtown).