Few head to Charlotte as jobless rate surges

The influx of newcomers to the Charlotte region, long a beacon of the area's success, has slowed since the unemployment rate surged.

An analysis of the latest Census data shows notable drop-offs in out-of-state transplants and 20-somethings.

Most newcomers to the region still came from elsewhere in North Carolina in 2008. But migration from outside the Carolinas dropped 20 percent, according to the Observer's analysis.

While Census data suggests the slowdown continued into 2009, experts say that the decline in newcomers is probably a temporary setback.

"I think Charlotte will regain some of its luster when the economy gets better and companies look for more affordable places to be," said Joel Kotkin, an author who writes about social and economic change in American cities. "These are tough times, but they're tough times for everyone."

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