Labor Market Information

The Eastern Carolina Workforce Area is comprised of nine of the twelve counties located within the Southeast Prosperity Zone. There are four military bases in the three highest populated counties of Craven, Onslow, and Wayne. 

In addition, the three coastal counties (Carteret, Pamlico, and Onslow) are growing seasonal resort and retirement areas.   These nine counties are primarily rural and reliant upon agriculture and encompass a total area of 5,710.64 square miles, with 4,834.41 square miles of land area.  The counties’ populations range from Jones and Pamlico with less than 13,000 each to Craven, Onslow and Wayne with more than 100,000 each.  

According to the North Carolina State Demographics data as of September 2016, the total population of the Eastern Carolina Workforce Area was 651,518. The counties are a diverse mix of races, ethnic groups, and ages with pockets of urban prosperity among rural poverty. 

Government, retail trade, services, and manufacturing are the significant sources of employment, with the government employing the largest number of workers.  Most of the jobs are located in the more populated counties with military installations and the seat of government for each county.  The region recognizes that opportunities and challenges are not confined to one county or another.  It is through regional collaboration that the counties of the Eastern Carolina Local Area leverage their assets to create a competitive advantage in a global economy.

The 9 counties in the Eastern Carolina Workforce area are:

  • Carteret County
  • Craven County
  • Duplin County
  • Lenoir County
  • Greene County
  • Jones County
  • Onslow County
  • Pamlico County
  • Wayne County
Regional Profile

For more information on the statistics of the North Carolina population, visit AccessNC or find out more detailed information of your local area at

County Data and Resources

In February 2020, myFutureNC and Carolina Demography collaborated to launch the myFutureNC Attainment Dashboard. The dashboard shows North Carolina’s progress toward the state’s overall 2030 goal for postsecondary educational attainment, as well as 18 educational performance indicators. These indicators span the education continuum, capturing key transition points for students from NC Pre-K through college completion and into the labor market. Here, you’ll find resources for organizations and stakeholders across the state. 

Regional Labor Market Data

The NC Department of Commerce has valuable resources and information on the ECWDB region. We have embedded some of the resources into our website for your convenience. Click on the various links below to learn more about our region's labor market.

Regional Labor Market

WDB Dashboard

WDB Area Profile

County Area Profiles:

Carteret, CravenDuplinGreene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Wayne

Lightcast Q1 2023 Economic Overview

ECWDB Region Economic Overview. This document covers the economic overview of all 9 counties located in the ECWDB region. This covers labor force breakdowns, population trends, job trends, unemployment rate trends, and much more.

Top Occupations in ECWDB Region Breakdown. This document covers the occupation breakdown of all 9 counties located in the ECWDB region.