Caldwell County: A Purposefully Diversified Economy

Fairfield Chair paint mixingOver the past 15-plus years, Caldwell County has transformed from a single-engine economy to a diverse 21st-century economy that is regionally and globally competitive. 

The Great Recession significantly impacted Caldwell County in 2008. Most of our economy relied on furniture manufacturing, and when the housing market collapsed, so did the need for furniture. Since then, Caldwell has persistently and systematically rebuilt its economy, adding more than 50 industries and repurposing and selling more than 4.2 million square feet of industrial space. Furniture, plastics and packaging and food processing and distribution are joined by data centers, pharmaceuticals and other advanced manufacturers. Unemployment went from an all-time high of 17.5 percent to 3 percent.

Caldwell's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has realized 30 percent growth since the Great Recession, building particularly steep momentum after 2014. Caldwell emerged from the pandemic the only Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton MSA county whose GDP did not decline in 2020.


Contact CCED today to see how we can help your company grow in Caldwell County. Customized job training is available for qualifying businesses through Caldwell Community College & Technology Institute (CCC&TI) and others.