FILE- In this Aug. 23, 2007, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to a gender-neutral restroom at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. Nearly all of the nation's 20 largest cities, including New York City, have local or state nondiscrimination laws that allow transgender people to use whatever bathroom they identify with, though a debate has raged around the topic nationwide. Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, signed an executive order on Monday, March 7, 2016, that guarantees people access to single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity at city facilities, including offices, pools and recreation centers, without the need to show identification or any other proof of gender. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

North Carolina Economy Thriving Despite Ominous Predictions Over HB2

Economic indicators released for 2016 show that a boycott inspired by then-North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s signing of House Bill 2 on March 23 has largely been unsuccessful, The Washington Times reports.

Although North Carolina suffered the loss of the NCAA championships, the NBA All-Star Game, and Bruce Springsteen due to the controversial transgender bathroom law, the state seems to be doing well economically.

“Tourism has thrived: Hotel occupancy, room rates and demand for rooms set records in 2016, according to the year-end hotel lodging report issued last week by VisitNC, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina,” the article states.

North Carolina ranked fourth in the country for “attracting and expanding businesses” with the arrival of 289 major projects in 2016, and seventh overall for projects per capita. The statistics mirror those found in Site Selection magazine’s 2015 edition.

North Carolina ranked first of eight states for bringing in corporate facilities in the South Atlantic region. Forbes and Site Selection magazine both ranked North Carolina as the No. 2 state for “business climate” in November.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina had only a 5.3 percent unemployment rate in January 2016 and the rate remained the same in January 2017.

In April, The Center for American Progress estimated that North Carolina would lose more than $567 million in “private-sector economic activity” through 2018.

“Suffice it to say, our economy is doing well,” said Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican. “Don’t be fooled by the media; this issue is not about the economy. This issue is about privacy, safety and security in the most vulnerable places we go. This is about doing the right thing. And I will never trade the privacy, safety and security of a woman or a child for a basketball ticket, and neither should you.”

Chris Sgro, however, disagrees. The former Democratic state legislator and current head of EqualityNC says that the numbers fail to consider what would have happened without the bill.

“It is a universally agreed-upon fact at this point that HB2 is hurting the state of North Carolina economically,” Sgro said.

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Autumn Price

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