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Population And Job Growth Remain Strong In Asheville, But Wage Growth Lags Far Behind

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
Statistic from the report on wages

Population and job growth continue to be strong in the Asheville region, but wages are lagging far behind.  That's according to a report released by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Coalition of Asheville-Buncombe County.  The report studied a six county area (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, Transylvania) and found the average wage per job is $44,800.  The national average is $62,100.

That disparity in wages comes as the population continues to grow in the region.  The report shows by the year 2021, population will grow an estimated 4.1% in the region, adding more than 21-thousand residents.  Jobs are growing at similar rates, with another 16-thousand projected to be created in the next five years.  'Restaurants and other eating places' are the largest industry in the region by far, and the fastest growing industry by far as well.  By extension, 'food preparation and serving workers, including fast food' is the fastest growing occupation in the region.  It's followed by retail salespersons, waiters and waitresses, registered nurses, and restaurant cooks.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.