“The story of Charlotte's recovery isn't just in the numbers. It's in what we saw today. It's in a bold investment, [that] many said couldn't happen, coming to fruition because of partnership between the federal government, the local government, and the people of Charlotte.”OMB Director Shaun Donovan
Today, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan joined Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in Charlotte, NC, to tour transportation investments and witness first-hand the city’s remarkable economic recovery over the past eight years.
At the peak of the Great Recession, Charlotte, like many cities throughout the nation, was facing rapid unemployment, deteriorating home prices, and reduced incomes. But thanks to the grit and determination of the people of Charlotte, and partnerships with and support from the Obama Administration, the city’s unemployment rate has been cut by nearly two thirds. Real average weekly earnings in the private sector have risen by 14.6 percent since early 2008. And, home prices have risen by more than 23 percent since the early part of 2012. More work remains to continue economic growth and expand opportunity for all, but together we demonstrated that it is possible to turn a crisis into an opportunity -- to promote safe, sustainable homeownership, develop transit projects that attract businesses and spur development, and put cities like Charlotte on the road to economic recovery.
Check out these highlights from Director Donovan and Secretary Foxx’s visit:
Officials from UNC-Charlotte discuss benefits planned Blue Line station will offer to students, faculty & community. pic.twitter.com/697cuDFCmj— OMBPress (@OMBPress) October 25, 2016
Next stop: Residential units under construction on Tyron St. along Charlotte's Blue line extension pic.twitter.com/wzSizRfh66— Shaun Donovan (@ShaunOMB) October 25, 2016
Crescent NoDa, a 344-unit apartment community at a planned light-rail stop along Charlotte's Blue Line pic.twitter.com/kKM21puCox— Shaun Donovan (@ShaunOMB) October 25, 2016
Unemployment ⬇ by nearly two-thirds. Businesses adding 2500 jobs per month on avg. It was great to see this economic progress in Charlotte!— Shaun Donovan (@ShaunOMB) October 25, 2016
The remarkable economic transformation over the last eight years can be found not just in Charlotte, but across the nation. Our businesses have created more than 15 million new jobs since early 2010. Twenty million more people now have the security of health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. And recent data from the Census Bureau shows real median household incomes saw the fastest annual growth on record. Income grew for households across the income distribution, with the fastest growth among lower- and middle-income households. The number of people in poverty fell by 3.5 million, the largest one-year drop since 1966. Meanwhile, the ratio of earnings for a typical woman working full-time, full-year to earnings for a typical man working full-time, full-year increased to 80 percent in 2015, the highest on record.
By almost every economic measure, we are better off than we were when President Obama took office. While we have more work to do, it’s important to reflect on this progress and build on it to overcome the challenges that remain.
Shannon Buckingham is the Associate Director for Communications and Strategic Planning at the White House Office of Management and Budget.