The Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte this year and this presents some obstacles for the Democratic Party. Despite Charlotte headquartering banks that are unpopular among liberals, having a tough stance on unions and passing Amendment One, Democrats believe North Carolina to be vital for Obama’s re-election.
Historically presidents don’t fare well in elections with high unemployment and unemployment in the United States remains at 8.2 percent. Charlotte’s unemployment numbers are even worse at 9.6 percent.
When the effects of the financial crisis took effect, Charlotte was slammed. In 2010, there was a 36 percent increase in the number of homeless families. In 2011, that number fell 21 percent, but experts predicted that number to rise this year.
This month, Wells Fargo, which acquired the Charlotte-based financial service corporation Wachovia in 2008, saw its second-quarter profits rise 17 percent because of a recovering housing market and improved credit market. However, Wells Fargo said it would not meet its cost-cutting goals due to compensation for higher profits.
Employees of Wells Fargo in Charlotte are more than likely going to feel the effects of these looming cost-cutting measures. In June, employees received a memo stating the company would be outsourcing jobs to the Philippines and India.
Making matters worse Duke Energy (which employs about 29,000 employees) of Charlotte and Raleigh-based Progress Energy have experienced difficulties after merging earlier this month. Progress Energy’s CEO Bill Johnson left the company with three members of his team and according to the CharlotteObserver.com, Duke Energy has damaged its trust with “investors, regulators and a shaken workforce.”
Despite the poor employment situation in Charlotte, new census numbers depict a brighter scenario. According to census results, Charlotte experienced the 9th-largest population increase in the US between April 2010 and July 2011 with 19,663 new residents.
Charlotte remains an area of new opportunities, but the recession has stifled any significant signs of progress and stable growth. Charlotte’s unemployment is higher than the national average and Democrats will face an uphill battle as North Carolina remains an important swing state in an election many believe will be close.