Population and job growth continue to be strong in the Asheville region, but wages are lagging far behind. That's according to a report released by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Coalition of Asheville-Buncombe County. The report studied a six county area (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, Transylvania) and found the average wage per job is $44,800. The national average is $62,100.
That disparity in wages comes as the population continues to grow in the region. The report shows by the year 2021, population will grow an estimated 4.1% in the region, adding more than 21-thousand residents. Jobs are growing at similar rates, with another 16-thousand projected to be created in the next five years. 'Restaurants and other eating places' are the largest industry in the region by far, and the fastest growing industry by far as well. By extension, 'food preparation and serving workers, including fast food' is the fastest growing occupation in the region. It's followed by retail salespersons, waiters and waitresses, registered nurses, and restaurant cooks.