Also unscathed was the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which registered at 5.3 percent in January 2016 and 5.3 percent in January 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The figures released almost exactly a year after the bill’s passage appear to fly in the face of predictions of economic doom made by opponents of HB2. The Center for American Progress estimated in April that the state would lose more than $567 million in private-sector economic activity through 2018.
North Carolina is showing economic resilience as legislators in 16 other states consider bills to regulate intimate public facilities, including restrooms, showers and locker rooms, on the basis of biological sex, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
North Carolina may have lost out on the NCAA championships, the NBA All-Star Game and Bruce Springsteen thanks to its hotly contested transgender bathroom law, but the state’s economy didn’t miss a beat.
Economic indicators released for 2016 show that the boycott has failed to derail North Carolina as a regional and national powerhouse, despite the loss of high-profile performances and sporting events in response to House Bill 2, signed March 23 by then-Gov. Pat McCrory.
Tourism has thrived: Hotel occupancy, room rates and demand for rooms set records in 2016, according to the year-end hotel lodging report issued last week by VisitNC, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
Meanwhile, North Carolina ranked fourth in the nation for attracting and expanding businesses with the arrival of 289 major projects, and seventh in projects per capita — the same as in 2015, according to Site Selection magazine, which released its 2016 rankings in the March edition.