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Beer supports more than 75,000 jobs in NC, report says

The beer industry has a multi-billion dollar impact in North Carolina and supports thousands of jobs. Analysts say, finding the right workers is a challenge.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The U.S. added 339,000 jobs in May, exceeding industry estimates and marking the 29th straight month of positive job growth, according to the Department of Labor.

One industry driving job growth in North Carolina is beer.

According to a Beer Serves America report, the industry supports more than 75,000 jobs and contributes more than $12.8 billion to the North Carolina economy.

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Tim Kent leads the N.C. Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association and said the impact goes beyond the beverage by supporting jobs in manufacturing, retail, distribution and more.

“Beer has been around since the beginning of the United States and prior to that, and it continues to be the number one beverage in America for adults," Kent said. "It's a fast-moving industry. There are a lot of new entrants to the business. We have 500 craft brewers in North Carolina and they're all having a major impact.”

One challenge, he said, is finding the right people to work.

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“We’re having difficulty hiring and keeping CDL drivers who can then transport the beer to the marketplace," Kent said. "If there's one big challenge that we face in the industry right now, it's available labor.”

Despite this, Kent said the report shows growth and resilience for an industry that has a place in American culture.

“Beer continues to have a lasting impact on the North Carolina and the United States economies," Kent said. "I don't think that's going to change anytime soon.”

To view the full report and see how beer is impacting other areas click here.

Contact Kayland Hagwood at khagwood@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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