An economist to share the local prognosis



Adam Jones says his career in economics may have been pre-established.

“My parents think I was born to be an economist because I’ve always done marginal benefit and marginal cost analyzes,” he laughed. “When I was a kid, we were all standing in the kitchen and I was like, ‘If I make that smart comment about my dad, I’m going to get slapped in the face; Is it worth it?’ Yes, it’s ok… it’s worth it.

Jones, chair of the economics and finance department at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, is also the university’s regional economist. He will present his analysis of the region’s economy at the “Economic Outlook: Time for Agility” conference at the WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo on October 7, where he will examine the economic outlook partly from a cost perspective. -advantages.

Take the effect of the pandemic on the economy, for example.

“The way I think about the current situation is it’s like taking medicine if you’re sick,” he said. “There is the benefit of treating your symptoms, but there are side effects – costs. We as a country have taken drugs: we have injected a lot of stimulus into the economy; we have lowered interest rates as low as possible; we have increased unemployment benefits.

“There’s still a lot of pain because of that, but also side effects, and we’re seeing that in the labor shortage. There is still a lot of fear of the virus. At the beginning of August, 2.5 million people were not working because of this fear, and this increased a little because of the delta variant. [On the other hand], there is the rise of the stock market, which gave [investors] mental security and perhaps the option of retirement.

Making major life changes, such as retiring or changing careers, is not free, Jones continued, but the increase in the value of assets such as real estate and investment portfolios has created an opportunity. to cover these costs.

In addition, the unemployment stimulus checks have offered more opportunities to those who have received them. “Enough help was provided to hopefully allow them to think about the options. They can re-enter the labor market in different places, especially those who worked in the leisure and hospitality sectors. I think that will be, in the long run, the silver lining to that, ”Jones said.

Jones likes to think about general and general economic issues. In college, he dropped out of a potential math major when he was confronted with a course in imaginary numbers whose title he couldn’t even understand. He gave up on the idea of ​​majoring in physics when he had to spend a sunny afternoon in the lab processing an experiment he already knew the outcome of.

“It left me with the economy. The value of that was that I could study for it while I was riding a bike, ”he said. “I would bounce back [ideas] in my brain until the ‘aha!’ the time has come.

It’s no wonder Jones likes an area of ​​study he could think about while riding his bike. A long cycle path winds through Jones’ formative years and career. Participating in bike rallies as a youth allowed him to discover parts of the country far from his home in Houston. When he joined the cycling club in his college town of Sherman, Texas, he met the city’s director of economic development, another cyclist.

“He offered me an internship by working two hours a day, including one hour for lunch with [him and his colleagues]Jones said. “I ended up doing a lot more work.”

This job gave Jones experience and led him to his first job out of college as Director of Economic Development for the Covington / Newton County City Chamber of Commerce in Covington, in Georgia. The area was half suburban, half rural, and its people often had very different views on development policies and opportunities. After the chamber’s attempt to establish a community college in the county – for which it had funds and land – was rejected by county commissioners, Jones decided it was time to change careers and decided to make a career change. started applying for a doctorate. programs to prepare him to teach economics. Once again, his interest in cycling paved the way for him.

“A friend and I were organizing a series of cycling races,” he recalls. “We were driving statewide on weekends and we were on the north side of Atlanta on a weekend. My wife was talking with a man on the run, telling him about my plans, and he told her that I should apply to the University of Georgia; that he controlled the largest doctorate. scholarship fund in the economics department. He figured that as an organizer of cycling races, I could finish a thesis, which is the point at which many doctoral students. candidates drop out.

Since Jones had experience in economic development, faculty in the department could hire their new graduate student at UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, where he helped conduct economic impact studies.

At UNCW, his experience in economic development and studying the economic impacts of development made him the choice of the Cameron School of Business to assume the role of regional economist in 2015. In this role, he can share its analyzes but also ask its audience to think about the possibilities. Maybe the pandemic has produced necessary changes, improved technology.

“None of us like to be shaken,” he said, “but it’s good for us.”


Matthew Martin, Regional Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, presents a national perspective at the “Economic Outlook: Time for Agility” conference at the WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo on October 7.

Martin is senior vice president and regional manager for Charlotte, according to the Richmond Fed website. He leads the Fifth District’s outreach and community development efforts and is responsible for the Charlotte Board of Directors. Martin joined the Richmond Fed in 2006.

In addition to the Wilmington regional economist and a Federal Reserve economist, a panel of local leaders from across industries discuss the topic of economic agility during a turbulent time at the WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo.

Chakema Clinton-Quintana is Vice President of Inclusive Small Businesses at Live Oak Bank’s Inclusive Small Business Center, a facility that will serve underserved small business owners and individuals looking to become small business owners when it opens at 106 Market St. in the United States. downtown Wilmington in the fall. She has a business management degree with a concentration in management from Strayer University in Herndon, Virginia, as well as nine years of experience as a bank compliance officer. She has held compliance and security positions at Live Oak Bank and RBC Bank in Raleigh.

Kim hufham is President and CEO of the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau. Before joining the local CVB as an administrative assistant in 1989, Hufham worked in finance for Wilmington Airport. A few years after her debut, she held a sales position in what was then called the Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she held that position for a decade before becoming Executive Director of the Columbus County Tourism Bureau. She returned to Wilmington CVB as President and CEO in 2006. Over the course of her career, she has received numerous accolades and served on numerous state boards.

Jeff James, CEO of Wilmington Health, joined the Wilmington-based healthcare organization in 2008. As CEO, he is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of Wilmington Health, which is a primary care medical practice and multi-specialty owned by physicians which started in 1971. The practice has 200 providers covering 37 specialties in 22 localities. During James’ time, the group tripled in size. Prior to joining Wilmington Health, James was CFO and COO of the Christie Clinic in Champaign, Illinois, and CFO and Vice President of Finance for the Shannon Clinic in San Angelo, Texas.

Paul Loukas is broker-in-charge and partner of Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial real estate company. Recognized as one of the region’s leading market brokers, he specializes in investing and selling land, but retains extensive experience working in residential subdivisions and distressed assets. During his career, he exceeded $ 500 million in sales and completed more than 500 transactions in the South East. Loukas attended the Maret School in Washington, DC, and graduated from the University of Richmond. He holds the title of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).



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