In the 2018 Economic Strength Rankings just released by POLICOM, Inc., the Pinehurst-Southern Pines micropolitan statistical area (MSA) places extremely high on the national list of communities that have a stable and consistently growing economy. The Pinehurst-Southern Pines MSA not only ranked 27th out of the 550 MSAs (top 5%) in the entire United States, but also ranked 1st out of the 24 MSAs in North Carolina, which attests to the high quality of life in Moore County’s communities.
A “micropolitan statistical area” is defined as an area that encompasses at least 1 county and has a minimum population of 10,000 but less than 50,000. The Pinehurst-Southern Pines MSA includes all of Moore County.
POLICOM is a Palm City, Florida-based independent economic research firm that analyzes local and state economies to determine if a particular economy is growing or declining and why. Since 2002 when MSAs were first created as a geographic statistical delineation, POLICOM has annually evaluated the long-term tendency of each MSA’s economy to consistently grow in both size and quality, and they look at the economy’s impact on the standard of living for the people who live and work in the area. The more constant the growth has been over an extended period of time, the higher the economy’s ranking.
Regional Economic Information System data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is the principal data set POLICOM uses in their formulas to create the rankings. These formulas are based on several factors including:
- “Group 1 factors” that reflect the economy’s overall growth in size and quality. The “quality” of the economy is based upon what people earn because this has the most direct influence on their “standard of living”. These factors include the earnings and wages of all workers and per capita personal income, among several others.
- “Group 2 factors” that reflect how the economy is behaving. These include the earnings and wages of workers in the construction and retail sectors because these industries are extremely reactive to the “flow of money” coming into an area.
- “Group 3 factors” that include “negative” sectors where growth reflects a poor economy. These factors include indicators related to welfare and Medicaid.
“What POLICOM’s ranking says about our local economy’s track record of steady growth and strength simply affirms what we’ve been emphasizing to prospective clients all along — that Moore County is a stable, robust place for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to start, relocate or expand a business,” said Pat Corso, Executive Director of Moore County Partners in Progress, the economic development organization serving all of Moore County. “Our economy is a primary contributor to the exceptional quality of life that makes Moore County a great place to live, work, and play.”