Economist: HB2 having 'minor' effect on state's economy

A leading economic forecaster spoke out on the impact of House Bill 2.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After  making his quarterly forecast for the North Carolina economy, Dr. John Connaughton from UNC Charlotte said he believes HB2 has had a limited impact on the state’s overall economy.

“It’s hard to say that it has had an effect. Sure, it’s had some effect but I think its minor in its impact,” Connaughton said.

Connaughton does not dispute the effect on Charlotte of HB2, a bill that limits protections for members of the LGBT community.

Most recently, the NBA pulled next year’s All-Star Game from Charlotte, a move that cost an estimated $100 million to the local economy.

PayPal pulled plans for a new operations center in Charlotte that would have provided high-paying jobs for 400 people. The company is now in talks with Rhode Island instead.

Entertainers from Bruce Springsteen to Demi Lovato have also canceled concerts in protest of the new law.

In delivering his report on the economy at a forum in Charlotte, Connaughton pointed to the falling unemployment rate in the state and said the economy is actually growing in North Carolina, however slowly.

He said he does not see HB2 as being a factor.

“In the greater scheme of things, it is hard to say the economy is not doing well when we finally got below the U.S. unemployment rate again.”

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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