I think this nugget from Monday's Herald-Sun is worthy of more attention. And where better to spotlight our state's changing economy than BlueNC?
Forest products industry becomes NC's largest Manufacturer
The forest products industry has surpassed textiles as North Carolina's largest manufacturing industry, as measured by employment and wages, according to figures collected by the College of Natural Resources at N.C. State University.
The number of people working in the state logging, wood products, paper and furniture industries as of the middle of 2006 was 103,165 versus 82,110 in textile mills, textile product mills and apparel manufacturing.
The rest of the story is this...
According to Hardwood Review Weekly which keeps track of these statistics, between 2000 and 2006, 279 U.S. furniture factories closed in 29 states, totaling more than 64,000 lost jobs. Between 2000 and 2005, North Carolina lost 68 percent of its 32,000 furniture jobs.