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Report: News mixed on Charlotte for first half of 2011

Charlotte saw a 16.5 percent jump in the number of new or expanding firms in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period last year, according to a report released today by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

But the news is mixed for the Queen City, as the number of new jobs, additional square footage and investment were all down when compared with the same period in 2010.

There were 541 new or expanding firms in the first half of 2011, up from 464 during the same period last year. But the 5,459 jobs created from those new firms and expansions represent a decline of 19 percent.

The new firms and expansions created 3.5 million more square feet of space, down from 5.4 million created during the same period a year ago. Investments totaled $364.8 million, down 31 percent from $528.1 million.

Industry sectors experiencing the most growth the past six months: professional and technical services, retail and health care. The employment increase was highest in professional and technical services, resulting in 1,352 jobs. Charlotte’s finance sector gained 735 jobs, while manufacturing grew by 453 jobs.

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