Charlotte, N.C., has a success story in Red Ventures, an Internet marketing firm that will add 500 jobs by year's end. But the firm's growth is overshadowed by the downsizing in Charlotte's signature industry, banking.Home to Bank of America, the city suffered when the housing collapse rippled through the financial sector. Some 4,000 banking jobs have disappeared since 2007, and the story isn't over: Bank of America just announced 3,500 more layoffs, although it didn't say where they'll occur.Bottom line: Charlotte unemployment is pinned at 11.2 percent.
The Nielsen Co. released its list of television market ranks for 2011, and Pittsburgh will fall from No. 23 to No. 24 next year. That's not surprising because of the market that surpassed Pittsburgh: Charlotte, N.C., a city growing faster than Pittsburgh.Year to year, the number of television households in Pittsburgh grew from 1,154,950 to 1,160,820, an increase of 5,870 homes. Charlotte grew by 18,270 homes to surpass Pittsburgh.Pittsburgh's declining market rank has been under way for decades. In 1998, Pittsburgh was market No. 19. By 2008, Pittsburgh had fallen to No. 23.
That's THE Pittsburgh story, right? Everybody is leaving for Charlotte. A Tweet last Thursday (from KDKA's Mike Zappone):
Pittsburgh leaped over Charlotte. Our area gained over 11,000 households in last year. Charlotte lost over 26,000 households acc. to neilson
Honestly, the drop in Charlotte is the big surprise. That's a huge swing from the last round of television market rankings. In case you are doubting Zappone, I gather that Nielsen issued a press release that will likely show up in the local papers soon enough.
I don't know much about the Nielsen data. Take the trend to the bank (i.e. declining for decades) and keep in mind that Charlotte's shrinking household numbers are mostly to blame. Two regional economies are going in different directions, but not the way anyone would expect.