Workers & Jobs
Employment in Manufacturing
Table 1 shows the largest employers in the NC tobacco industry.1 Alliance One International is the third leading tobacco employer in North Carolina, with 1,085 employees in 2007. This company gives the NC tobacco industry a global connection, as Standard is an international tobacco dealer. Standard Commercial Tobacco runs operations in both Kentucky and North Carolina, the two largest tobacco-producing states. Alliance One is the product of a merger between Standard Commercial Tobacco and DIMON, Inc. in 2004.
Tables 2a and 2b show employment data for the tobacco industry in North Carolina between 1996 and 2006.2 Table 2a shows that the number of plants and employees in the tobacco industry has decreased over the past 10 years. The number of firms in North Carolina tobacco manufacturing has fallen from 39 to 27 since 1996, while the number of employees fell from 15,273 to 10,753.
Cigarette manufacturing (NAICS 312221) employs the largest number of North Carolina tobacco workers, and 77% of manufacturing employees in this industry were employed in cigarette manufacturing in 2006. This sector of the industry has fared better than other sectors, declining less than the other two stages listed. Today, cigarette manufacturing establishments represent over 52% of firms in the industry, up from 15% in 1996. Most of this increase has taken place since 2000, but the decline in employment indicates that cigarette manufacturers are getting smaller on average.
Tobacco stemming and redrying (NAICS 31221) has seen a decrease in the number of establishments active in the state. Since 2001, employment has fallen by nearly one quarter. As this component is a processing stage in the value chain that comes before final product manufacturing, the decline of this stage represents a threat to the industry in North Carolina. Imports of processed tobacco, the shift of processing to other states, and the decline of tobacco use all may lead to the declines observed here. Tables 3a and 3b display the establishment and employment data graphically.
More efficient and productive workers also have led to a declining demand for labor. The decrease in average annual employment in the last 10 years has been accompanied by an increase in average annual wages, as shown in Table 2b. Average wages within cigarette manufacturing are far higher than other components of the industry, and this stage of the supply chain is capital intensive (see Value Chain Description). Tables 4 and 5 display layoffs within general manufacturing activities in this industry. Only a few counties have been affected by layoffs, and most years meet with few layoffs, though major layoff years entail the loss of thousands of jobs at the state level.
Maps 1 and 2 display the location of establishments and employment in tobacco manufacturing and large-scale farming at the county level.3 29 counties had at least one establishment in tobacco manufacturing in 1996, and this number remained roughly constant, rising to 30 by 2006 However, a significant number of counties - 30 in 1996 and 19 in 2006 - did not disclose the number of farms within their borders. Other information points to a decline in small farms and concentration of larger farms within a few counties. Forsyth County contained 7 of 27 establishments in the state in 2006 and nearly half of all statewide employment. In comparison with Durham and Wilson Counties, the establishments in Forsyth, on average, employ more workers. However, beyond Forsyth County, concentration within tobacco manufacturing within the state is not evident. Farming is concentrated in the eastern part of state, with Pitt and Nash counties being the largest for large-scale farming. Finally, layoffs (map 3) are clearly concentrated in counties affected by layoffs in this industry.
North Carolina remains the number one producer of raw tobacco in the United States (see the Inter-Industry Trends section for more information). However, North Carolina tobacco farming declined significantly in the 1990s, and especially after 1997. In order to maintain consistency in data sources across the industries presented in this site, the exploration of farming activity is not addressed here. For further information regarding farming activity, please refer to the Research Papers section of this site. For more information on the differences between these data sets, please see the Annex Map, located in the "Maps" section comparing data sources explored in the research paper.
- Reference InfoUSA, 2/07
- North Carolina Employment Security Commission. Employment and Wages by Industry. Last accessed July 27, 2007. [http://www.ncesc.com]