From colonial times to the 1920s, agriculture dominated the economy of North Carolina. Manufacturing surpassed farming as a source of income in the 1920s and as a source of jobs, as well, by the 1950s. In the late 1990s manufacturing remained the principal economic activity, but government, commercial and financial services, and tourism also were important.
In addition, a large number of research and development industries have been established in North Carolina, in facilities such as Research Triangle Park, located between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Handicrafts, such as baskets and pottery are important products of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont regions.
North Carolina had a work force of 4,257,000 in 2008. Of those, the largest share, 33 percent, worked in the diverse services sector, doing such jobs as working in tourist facilities or computer programming. Another 20 percent of the workers were employed in wholesale and retail trade; 13 percent in manufacturing; 17 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those in the military;
6 percent in construction; 17 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 19 percent in transportation or public utilities; and 3 percent in farming (including agricultural services), forestry, or fishing. Only 0.2 percent held jobs in mining. In 2007, 3 percent of North Carolina’s workers were unionized, one of the lowest rates in the country. The state has a right-to-work law, which prohibits union membership as a condition of employment. "North Carolina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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