North Carolina Slate Library
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
State Library of North Carolina
Housing an; - - - ^ , -
Assistance Program authorizea by Section /Oi
Act of 1954, OS amended.
TOWN OF SYLVA, NORTH CAROLINA
ROSCOE POTEET, MAYOR
Board of Aldermen
B j orn Ah 1 in
Her ber t Land i s
SYLVA PLANNING BOARD
Col. T. A. Fuller, Chairman
Paul Holt, Jr.
A . T . Murray
Mrs. John Parris
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FROM
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION
*Richard M. Yearwood, Executive Director
or, Community Planner
ningham, Community Planner
us sat, Community Planner
n, Community Planner
trong. Community Planner
s. Design Planner
ook, Chief Draftsman
Dra ft sman
Dra f t sman
or , Dra f t sman
s , Dra ft sman
S ecr e ta ry
son , Secretary
Char 1 e s S io
Le e Armour ,
*Ma r V in Adam
■Pro ject Staff
Sylva, a town of 1,564 people, is located in the midst of
the scenic grandeur of the western North Carolina mountains. The
town's beginnings go back to 1879, when General E. R. Hampton
built a house and a store close to the sawmill he owned on Scotts'
Creek, with the aim of starting a town. A post office was ob-
tained the same year, and the settlement was named by General
Hamton' s youngest daughter, Mae, for William D. Sylva, an itin-
erant young Dane who made many friends in Webster and on Scotts'
Creek before drifting on to Texas to seek his fortune. The Town
of Sylva was chartered by the General Assembly in 1889.
Sylva has a favored location, as the map on page 2a shows.
It is served by the Asheville - Murphy line of the Southern Rail-
way, is intersected by one major highway, U.S. 19A-23, and is
close to another, U.S. 441. Portions of these roads have recently
been reworked, but further imp rov emen t *i s desirable. In addition,
NC 107, which runs into Sylva from South Carolina and carries the
traffic from the southern portion of the county, is inadequate,
even antiquated. It surely needs improvement on into Whit tier.
Western Carolina College is located on NC 107 at Cullowhee, only
seven miles from Sylva. The college produces a large volume of
traffic on this road, and is heavily traveled from Cullowhee to
Sylva, the town which serves the college.
These roads provide access for residents throughout the
whole region, and they also carry numbers of travellers who come
to the area to enjoy the scenery and the various tourist attrac-
tions. Sylva and Jackson County have a vast tourism and recrea-
tion potential, but the network of highways in the county will
have to be greatly improved if the full potential is to be realized.
The county seat was at Webster until 1913, when the rail-
road came through Sylva instead of Webster, as anticipated, C. J.
Harris offered to build a new courthouse and jail in Sylva if the
county seat were moved, and it was done that same year. The com-
ing of the railroad, in addition to bringing the county seat to
Sylva, doubtless encouraged the various economic enterprises that
helped Sylva to grow, particularly those that made use of timber
and Jackson County's other natural resources.
The Mead Corporation, which came to Sylva in 1928, is its
largest industry. It provides jobs for 260 people and buys pulp-
wood from many more in the county. Meads' 1964 payroll of
$1,750,000 plus the purchase of pulpwood, shows its contribution
to the Sylva and Jackson County economies. Agriculture, lumber,
and apparel are other important segments of the economy, and fur-
niture manufacture is likely to become important in the very near
future. Tourism, recreation, and seasonal residents add substan-
tially to the economy, as do governmental employment (particularly
the Fourteenth Division Office, State Highway Commission at Web-
ster) and Western Carolina College, a major economic asset that
doubtless will continue to expand.
KY. cz ^L-^'- . - V ^ y.'
BRISTAL (42 Ij
IN ITS REGIONAL SETTING
ROYSTON GA \ S C
Comparisons of population trends in Sylva, Sylva Township,
Jackson County, and North Carolina are in Table I, which shows
that Sylva has experienced at least a moderate population in-
crease over every decade since 1910, except for the 1940-1950
decade. From 1940 to 1950 Sylva lost twenty-seven persons, for
a 1.92 7„ population loss. Even so, the Sylva Township enjoyed a
10.49% increase during that period, indicating that growth oc-
curred around, instead of in, the Town of Sylva.
In the last decade the situation was reversed; Sylva Town-
ship had no population change whatever from 1950 to 1960, but
the Town of Sylva gained 182 people, an increase of 13.16%.
Sylva's population growth of the past decade is in keeping
with the general trend in the state, the southeast, and the na-
tion. Sylva's gain contrasts with the county population trend,
however. The county experienced a 7.69% population loss from 1950
to 1960. The trend in the county was growth until 1940, when the
population high of 19,366 was attained. Then the decline began,
with a slight loss (less than one percent) over the 1940-1950
decade, followed by the aforementioned 7.69% drop in the last
decade. The county's population now is almost exactly the same
as it was in 1930, but the Sylva population is 16.7% greater
now than in 1930.
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In addition to the necessity for having knowledge about
the trends in the number of people in a community over a period
of time, it is important to know something about the composition
of that population. The composition of a community's population
changes, and it is necessary to know what that composition has
been for the past few years.
It is understood that a community with a healthy, devel-
oping economy can hold its own high school and college graduates
and attract other young people. Therefore, a growing community
would have a large proportion of young, productive people in its
The situation in Sylva, as shown in the population pyra-
mid. Chart I, does not appear to be particularly healthy. The 25-
44 age category, considered the most productive group in the so-
ciety, shows fewer people in 1960 than in 1950. This is true for
both sexes. The chart also shows that there was a marked increase
in those people forty-five years old and over from 1950 to 1960.
Finally, there was little change over the decade in the number of
people in the 5-24 age group, but there was a significant decrease
in the 0-4 group, particularly the males.
All this indicates a loss of people in the productive
years, an increase of elderly people, and, due to the failure of
the young child-bearing group to grow, a decline in the youngest
age c a t e go r y .
This is a disturbing finding, but it appears that if
steps now being taken (*) to counteract this tendency of the
young people to leave the town are effective, Sylva can expect
a reasonable degree of growth over the next several years.
(*)(See the Summary)
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Table II shows the age composition of the population in
Sylva and Jackson County for comparative purposes. The finding
for Sylva differs from that of the county in two particulars. The
county had heavy losses in the first two categories, the 0-14 and
15-44 groups, but Sylva had a gain of 11.7°/, in the 0-14 category
and only a slight loss (1.17o) .in the 15-44 group. The county had
sizeable increases in the 45-64 and the 65 and over groups, but
these increases were relatively small compared to Sylva's gain of
32.3% and 68.9% in the 45-64 and 65 and over groups, respectively.
In sum, the county as a whole had a much greater loss in the 0-44
group, but the Town of Sylva had a significant gain in the group
45 and ove r .
There were more females than males in Sylva in 1960, just
as in 1950. Table III provides the numbers of males and females
in each age category in 1950 and 1960. It shows that females out-
numbered males over the decade; there was a 3.26%, decrease in the
number of females in the child-bearing group over the period; and
females in the 25-44 category comprises a smaller proportion of
the total female population in 1960 than in 1950, 42.5%. as against
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AGE AND SEX COMPOSITION OF THE POPULATION
SYLVA, 1950 AND 1960
STYLE OF LIVING
It is helpful to know as much as possible about the kind
of life the population of a community enjoys, and this knowledge
comes largely from a survey of income, education, and housing
Income measures for the Town of Sylva are not available
because the Census Bureau does not compile such data for towns
of less than 2500 people.
The discussion of income necessarily, therefore, centers
on Sylva Township, for which data is available. It is only rea-
sonable to assume that in this case the Town of Sylva has quite
an effect on the income levels of the whole Township.
There are three basic methods of measuring income in a
given area. These are mean family income, which is simply total
family income divided by the total number of families; median
family income, which indicates a dividing point with half the
families earning more and half the families less than this figure;
and per capita income, which is the total income of all families
and individuals divided by the total population. Per capita in-
come may be the better index because it shows the "average" earn-
ings for each person.
People in the Sylva Township -- and therefore, by exten-
sion, the people in the Town of Sylva - enjoy a comparatively high
income level, however measured. Chart II shows that the mean,
median, and per capita figures for Sylva Township are higher than
those for any other Township in the County, higher than Jackson
County, and higher than rural North Carolina. The Township also
compares favorably with figures for the state of North Carolina;
Sylva Township has a higher per capita and higher median income
than the state as a whole, and has a mean income that is almost
equal to the state figure.
The income level in Sylva could be higher, however. Gen-
erally speaking, the Southeast has lower income levels than the
rest of the nation. See the U. S. averages in Chart II. North
Carolina does not boast a high rank within the Southeast, and
the mountainous Western North Carolina region occupies a low
position in the state. Jackson County, 82nd in per capita income
in the state in 1949, rose to 56th rank in 1959, thus experiencing
a 6.95% annual rate of change. Income levels in Sylva Township,
although they compare favorably with the other townships and with
the county, still could be improved.
It is also good to know, in addition to the above mea-
sures, just how the income in a community is distributed. Table
IV shows that the Sylva Township has fewer families in the low in-
come group, more families in the middle groups, and more families
in the higher income group than do Jackson County, Rural North
Carolina, or the State. Table IV shows at a glance the compara-
tive income distributions in Sylva Township and the other selected
Educa t ion
The educational level of a community is important be-
cause of the close relation between education and income. Gener-
ally speaking, the more years of formal education one possesses
the better job he has, the higher his income, the finer his home,
and so on. There can be no doubt of the importance of education,
particularly in the present age of technology, complexity, and
Sylva Township compares favorably with other townships,
Jackson County, Rural North Carolina, and North Carolina when it
comes to the educational level of the populace. There are several
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measures of educational level, but one that is often used is the
median number of school years completed. Table V gives complete
figures for Sylva Township and other selected areas. Sylva Town-
ship, with 9,8 median school years completed, is ahead of Jackson
County (8»0), Rural North Carolina (8.3), North Carolina (8.9),
and just under the 10.4 for Urban North Carolina and 10.7 for the
The table shows that Sylva Township is in a better posi-
tion than any of the other areas in a comparison of the number of
people with no schooling. The Township also has proportionately
fewer people with 0-4 years of school, and it has more people with
twelve or more years of school than any selected comparative area,
save Urban North Carolina. The educational level of people in the
Sylva Township is fairly high at the present time,
Sylva is fortunate in having the Technical Institute (at
Webster) and Western Carolina College (at Cullowhee) so close by.
These institutions provide the skilled and educated people so nec-
essary to the growth and prosperity of any area and so desirable
to new aconomic enterprises that might locate in or near the town.
The Town of Sylva needs to be careful to attract and to
hold — not lose — productive young people.
EDUCATIONAL DATA, ADULTS 25 YEARS AND OVER
JACKSON COUNTY, SYLVA TOWNSHIP, AND OTHER SELECTED AREAS,
N. C. URBAN N.C. RURAL N. C. JACKSON COUNTY SYLVA TWP.
E 1 emen ta ry :
yea r s
10 0. 07o
MEDIAN SCHOOL 8.9
% 0-4 years 13.4 10.6
% 12 years + 32.3 40.7
The quality of housing in a town is another important con-
sideration in determining how well the residents are living.
The 1960 survey of housing conducted by the Bureau of the
Census reported a total of 534 housing units in the Town of Sylva.
Of this number, 442, or 82o87o, were considered Sound, and 394 units
had complete plumbing facilities. Fifty-six houses (10.5%) were
classified Deteriorating, and thirty-six houses (6.7%) were Dil-
Housing conditions in Sylva compare very favorably with
those in Sylva Township and -^ackson County, as Table VI shows. The
Town has proportionately more Sound and less Deteriorating and Dil-
apidated housing than the rest of the township or Jackson County,
A survey of housing conditions can indicate a number of
things, but usually a high percentage of sound housing indicates
a high income level for area residents and, concomitantly, a
healthy economy; conversely, a large percentage of substandard
houses in an area means that the economy does not operate at a
sufficiently high level to provide an opportunity for the people
to enjoy a good standard of living. There can be no doubt of the
direct relation between the economy, income and education levels,
and housing conditions.
Sylva housing is relatively good. However, until every
house in town is sound and has all plumbing facilities there is
room for improvement and no reason for complacency.
A ^cudy o£ the economic activities of Sylva and the sur-
rounding area should prove to be of great assistance in the planning
program for Sylva Surveying the economic base will identify trends
m town; short and long term provisions can then be made for growth
or decline in various enterprises^ and Sylva can be ready to capital-
ize on whatever opportunities exist-
Emp 1 oymen t
The total number of people employed in Jackson County
dropped from 'j'JSO in 1950 to 5286 in 1960, but an increase of al-
most 900 jobs by 1970 is projected, as shown in Table VII.
Agriculture, forestry and fishery dominated the scene in
1950, with '*b,i^°i. of the workers in the county, but employment in
this category dropped over tne decade so that it comprised only
10.^% of the total employment in I960,.
Manufacturing .va s becoming important in 1950; there were
more than a thousand workers, and that number increased by some
three hundred by 1960. Manufacturing, construction, transportation,
commerce, personal and professional services, have all increased in
employment since 1940, though some of these are still employing rel-
atively small numbers of people.
Manufacturing, construction, commerce and professional ser-
vices employed the largest number of people in 1960, and the projec-
tion indicates that this will also be the case in 1970. See Table
VII for the 1950 and 1960 figures and for the 1970 projection.
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Occupational data for Jackson County and for Sylva Town-
ship are given in Table VIII. The Township and County have almost
identical proportions of workers in the various occupations. In
percentages, Sylva Township has fewer farmers and farm managers,
of course, and has more professional, technical and kindred work-
ers, more clerical and kindred workers, and more service workers
than does Jackson County.
One conclusion that may be drawn from the data in Table
VIII is that the economy of Sylva, as reflected in occupational
employment in the Township, is not very far advanced. An advanced
economy would have greater proportions of service, clerical, and
sales workers, managers, and professional and technical personnel.
Agr icul ture
Farming, long the way of life for most people in Jackson
County, has not been for some years now the dominant factor in the
county economy, at least not in terms of value added. The total
value of farm products sold in 1959 was $1,287,000 compared to a
value of $4,738,000 added by manufacture in 1958.
The agricultural trends in Jackson County are indicated
in Table IX. It is apparent that the number of farms, the acreage
in farms, and the average size of farms has decreased since 1949,
while the value of all crops and all farm products sold has stead-
ily increased. Mechanization, improved techniques, and increased
efficiency have led to greater productivity, on less land, and this
increased agricultural productivity has been an important, though
dominant, factor in the ecomony of the County and of Sylva.
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AGRICULTURAL TRENDS IN JACKSON COUNTY
Number of Farms 2,260
Acreage in Farms 128,018
Average Size of Farms (acres) 56.6
All Crops Sold $ 216,064
Total Value of Farm
Products Sold $ 701,972
$ 381, 101
$ 908,530 $ 1 ,287, 144
The decrease due to a change after 1954 in the Census Bureau'
definition of a "farm" is 427.
Table X compares the cash value of selected farm pro-
ducts sold in Jackson County and in the State in 1954 and 1959,
and indicates gain or loss in each category. Jackson County had
a good gain in the value of all farm products sold, in livestock
and livestock products, and in livestock and livestock products
other than poultry and dairy products^ There was only a slight
gain in forest products, because of th^ already high level of
activity in that area Dairy product- had a sizeable loss,
largely due to the drop from sixteen lo two dairies in the per-
iod from 1954 to 1964.
As for crop production, tobacco is the only major crop
in the county as Table XI illustrates,, The dollar value of to-
bacco was up 25,2°4 from 1960 to 1961, but all other crops -- save
sweet potatoes -- were down „ Sweet potatoes showed a tremendous
percentage gain, but the dollar value of the crop is so small as
to render it insignificant.
In view of the above findings, it seems that emphasis
on livestock and poultry products offers the best hope for farm-
ing in Jackson County. Vine-ripened tomatoes, Christmas trees,
specialized row crops and "recreation farming" are also recom-
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CASH VALUE OF AGRICULTURAL CROPS
JACKSON COUNTY, 1960 - 1961
Swee t Po ta toes
Ma nu factoring
Manufacturing has been gaining in importance in the County
over the past twa decades, both as a source of employment and in
terms of v/alue added to the economy^, Table XII provides complete
information on the number of employees in each manufacturing cate-
gory for 1940, 1950, and 1960 The table shows that most of the
jobs are in lumber and furniture and apparel, which jumped tremen-
dously in the number of employees from 19'50 to 1960o The remainder
of the jobs in manufacturing are scattered throughout the other cate-
Additional jobs in manufacturing have been created in the
County since 1960- Plants producing textiles, rugs, and brushes
have provided about 100 new jobs, and a new furniture plant has been
built to eventually employ 600 people.
The County is aggressively moving to attract new industry,
broaden its economic base, provide more jobs and thereby halt the
outmlgration of its people. New manufacturing jobs m the County
will create a demand for more support workers, housing, and various
goods and services^ The Sylva economy can be and should be helped
by the creation of new jobs. The Town must be alert to make the
most of the opportunities.
What of the long-term prospects of the industries that
provide jobs for people in Sylva and Jackson County?
All industries do not have the same potential. Some have
glowing prospects for the future; others face decline, wh ich means
a loss of jobs in the local economy- Some are better than others
because their pay scales are higher, and they pump more money into
the local economy^
MANUFACTURING EMPLOYMENT, BY CATEGORY
JACKSON COUNTY, 1950 - 1960 - 1970
Lumber, Furniture, etc.
Pr imar y me ta 1 s
Machinery, except electrical
Mo tor vehicles
Text i 1 e s
Appa re 1
Chemi ca 1
Other nondurables & not
Textiles, apparel, wood products industries, and small
scale farming are enterprises that face a decline in the next few
years, considering the whole American economy. These and retail
sales are also low pay industries. Unfortunately, the Jackson
County economy — and to a great extent the Sylva economy — is
based on small farming, lumber, furniture, and apparel. The in-
crease in size and importance of these enterprises in Sylva and
Jackson County is in direct contrast to the nationwide trend.
Sylva and Jackson County must not pin their long range hopes solely
on these industries.
The Sylva and Jackson County economies will be in a much
more advantageous position if growth industries such as metals,
electronics, and defense industries can be attracted to the area
to broaden the economic base.
Wholesale and Retail Trade
Trends in wholesale trade in Jackson County are shown in
Table XIII. The number of establishments and the annual payroll
were about the same in 1954 and in 1958, but there was a signifi-
cant decrease in the number of employees, and sales were up only
s 1 i gh t ly .
The prospect for wholesale trade in the County is not
particularly good. It is doubtful that any considerable growth
will occur, due in part to Asheville's dominance of wholesale
trade in the western part of the State.
The retail trade trends in the County are a little more
favorable. There was a decrease in the number of establishments
from 1954 to 1958, but the number of employees, annual payroll,
and annual sales were up. The increase in the amount of annual
sales was a very modest one, however.
TRENDS IN WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE
JACKSON COUNTY, 1954-1958
Who lesale Trade
Number of establishments
Annual payroll ($1,000)
Annual Sales ($1,000)
Number of employees
Number of establishments
Annual Payr o 11 ( $ 1 , 000 )
Annual sales ($1,000)
Number of employees
The dollar amount of recall sales by category is shown
in Table XIV Sales, by food stores, eating and drinking places,
general merchandise store, furniture and home furnishings stores,
gasoline service stations, and drug stores increased, but in no
c-iie did the rate of increase exceed tvfo per cent. There were
losses in other c^itegories; sales declined in apparel and acces-
sories, tne automotive group, and lumber and building materials.
Problems in Retail S.^les
The foregoing data ^nd comment indicate that all is not
5.rell in ree?-.i business In Sylva and Jackson County, Sylva is not
drawing e business it shouldc
Ihe question of ho«; much bjsinesi Sylva should attract
mighw be raised. To ansv^er that, it would be necessary to deter-
mine what i'^e trade area for Sylva is and what it should be. The
following factors must be considered in making that determination:
;' 1 .' Distan'-e from various parts of Jackson County to
(i' Roads Tnd road conditions in Jackson and nearby
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(2 _> Attracti-\'eness of nearby to'^ns business districtSo
( U Sufficiency of the Sylva business district in terms
of attractiveness, parking and traffic flow, as well
as quality, availability, price and merchandising of
v5' I)r:e ability of the merchants in Sylva to provide
service for t-.e products they sell, as opposed to
service provided on mer-handise bought in other
RETAIL SALES BY CATEGORY,
JACKSON COUNTY, 1954 and 1958
Pe r cen t
1 , 127
Eating &c drinking places
Furniture, home furnishings
Gasoline service stations
Lumber, building materials
Other retail stores
Since Sylva is the only town of any size in Jackson
County, it should be the focal point of retail trade and should
draw most of the business in the County, Indications are that
it does not. Analysis of Table XV, which shows the personal in-
come - retail sales ratio for the county, indicates that Sylva
is missing out on a great deal of retail business annually. The
county as a whole gets more retail business than expected, but
this does not mean that Sylva does. Retail sales data are not
available for Sylva, so we cannot know exactly how much money is
spent there in the town. We do know, however, that a large amount
of retail sales money is spent outside Sylva, in other parts of
the County. The Cashiers area, Cullowhee, and Qualla Township
are areas that enjoy sizeable income from sources outside the
county. This income balances that which is lost to Sylva. Some
of the retail business that Sylva should get is being lost to
Waynesville, Asheville, and even Canton and Franklin. There ap-
pear to be two basic reasons for this loss.
Roa ds . It is easier for people in some areas of the
County to travel to one of the other towns rather than to Sylva,
because of the mountains, the poor condition of the roads, and
the bad weather in winter.
The Sy 1 va C . B . D . The various deficiencies of the Cen-
tral Business District in Sylva cause many County shoppers to go
elsewhere to shop for such items as automobiles, appliances, and
clothes. Non-competitive prices, poor merchandising, and limited
selection of goods are the primary deficiencies the shopper sees
in Sylva .
INCOME/SALES RATIO, 1949 and 1959
Total Personal Income 59 207 000
Total Retail Sales $6,354,000
Expected Sales (using 67% ratio) $6,168,690
Difference , +5 185,310
Total Personal Income $16,635 000
Total Retail Sales $10,301,000
Expected Sales (using 677„ ratio) $10,097,450
Difference +§ 203,550
These deficiencies are due in part to the peculiar lo-
cation of the CBD. The ability of the Sylva CBD to expand is
limited by topography and existing land use. The ability of a
particular merchant to expand his facilities and thereby to offer
a wider selection and better display of his stock is also limited.
Limited too, is the financial ability of many of the merchants who
might like to expand and improve their businesses.
The trade potential for Sylva exists. The problem is
how to turn that potential into increased business for the Town.
Unemp loymen t
Jackson County had an unemployment rate of 8 . 67o for males
and 7 . 87o for females in 1960, as shown in Table XVI. Sylva Township
had lower rates, 6.3% for males and 4.6% for females. The unemploy-
ment situation in Sylva Township was obviously better than it was in
the whole of Jackson County.
According to recent bimonthly unemployment data compiled
by the Employment Security Commission and shown in Table XVII, the
situation in Jackson County has improved since 1960. The figures
for 1963 and 1965 show an average five and one-half per cent unem-
ployment rate. The validity of these figures seem questionable.
One major factor in the County's economy is the very large
amount of "hidden unemployment." This phrase means that many peo-
ple who are without jobs do not show up in unemployment figures.
They may have used up unemployment benefits, may have never worked
on covered jobs, may have tired of looking for jobs, or in some
cases, have never bothered to look for nonexistent jobs.
JACKSON COUNTY AND SYLVA TOWNSHIP, 1960
Ma le Fema 1 e
Fema 1 e
Civilian Labor Force
Percent of Labor Force
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The magnitude of this hidden unemployment is shown by
this comment from the U. S. Department of Labor in early 1964:
" Out of every 1000 white men 25 to 64 years old,
82 are not working, including 33 listed as unemployed
and 49 not in the labor force."*
This statement means that there is more hidden unemployment than
there is of the visible variety.
Another problem in the County is underemployment. This
term refers to employment of individuals in jobs which do not
challenge them, jobs that do not allow them to utilize fully all
their training and their capabilities, and jobs in which there
is little or no future for the individual. Underemployment is
difficult to measure, but there can be no doubt that a good many
people in Sylva and in Jackson County are not in jobs in which
they can prove their abilities and can advance to better jobs and
Both hidden unemployment and underemployment are present
in the County and both exert quite an unfavorable influence on
the Sylva economy.
A good many residents of Jackson County work outside the
County. Table XVIII shows that there are 1,170 workers who go out-
side the County to work; this is 22.9%, quite a sizeable segment of
the County's labor force.
Sylva Township has 170 workers who go outside the County to
work. This is 11.08% of the labor force or just about half the per-
centage for the County. Table XIX shows the place of work of Sylva
Township residents who commute to jobs outside the County. The num-
ber of Town and County residents who commute to jobs outside the
County indicates the lack of employment opportunities in Sylva and
in Jackson County.
*U . S . Department of Labor, release dated March 10, 1964,
JACKSON COUNTY, 1960
Number of Jackson County Residents
Working in Other Counties, I960
Ashe V i 1 1 e 25
Balance of Buncombe County 31
Greenvil le , S . C.
Balance of Greenville County
Jackson County 3934
Swa inCounty 353
Haywood County 282
Transylvania County 24
Ma con Coun ty 60
Pickens County, S. C. . 4
Rabun County, Ga • 9
Henderson County 11
Total reporting 4,869
Not reporting 235
Grand Total 5,104
Number of Jackson County residents working
outside the County 1,170
SYLVA TOWNSHIP, I960
PLACE OF WORK
NUMBER OF WORKERS
Ashev i 1 1 e
Rest of Buncombe County
Swa in Coun t y
Els ewher e
Income, education, and housing levels in Sylva are rea-
sonably high. All compare favorably with figures for Rural North
Carol ina .
Sylva may reasonably expect a small population increase
over the next few years. If the Jackson County economy does not
ultimately expand and prosper, however, Sylva cannot expect to grow
very much because the Sylva economy is so dependent on the County's
people and economy.
Sylva cannot expect to grow if it loses its young people -
productive young people with high school diplomas - and it is losinj
them now. This outmigration of the young must be halted if Sylva
expects to grow,
Young people must be kept in school. The economic oppor-
tunity program can help here, through various projects such as the
work study program.
Young people must be retained in Sylva after schooling.
To do this, jobs must be available.
A lack of employment opportunities, hidden unemployment,
and underemployment are factors acting as a brake on the economy
in Sylva and Jackson County.
Nearly one-fourth of Jackson County's labor force works
outside the County. This fact illustrates the lack of employment
opportunities in the County- An expanding economy would permit
many of these 1,107 workers to return to Sylva and Jackson County
Demand for unskilled workers is declining. Nationwide,
demand for technical, professional, service and clerical workers
is expanding. Requirements for educated, trained workers is in-
creasing. There is a definite demand in Sylva & Jackson County
for people of various skills. If the Sylva economy is to advance
it must have these trained personnel -- and it must be able to
support them .
The Technical Institute can provide this specialized train-
ing. This Institute can be of tremendous assistance in the quest of
Sylva and Jackson County for economic growth.
Manufacturing is important in Sylva. More plants and more
jobs will increase the demand for goods and services, and will thus
boost the Sylva economy.
The Western Carolina College can provide the community with
persons educated to furnish the services that will be desired.
S y 1 va needs
More enterprises and more jobs.
Central Business District improvement.
More recreation facilities of all kinds if
it is to realize its potential.
Sylva does have many factors in its favor, such as its
scenery, its recreation potential, its proximity to many other at-
tractions, Mead, the Technical Institute, and the College, but the
most encouraging thing is the attitude of the people. It is an
attitude of progress. Sylva's leadership is aware of problems and
is looking to eradicate them. Sylva's assets, coupled with a de-
sire for growth, will surely bring more results.
STATE LIBRARY OF NORTH CAROLINA
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