Opponents of House Bill 2, popularly known as the “bathroom bill,” claim that the legislation has cost jobs in North Carolina, but it may have created at least one.

The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce is advertising a new, part-time position for a person to research and analyze the economic impact of H.B. 2.

The bill, passed on March 23 in a one-day special session of the General Assembly, pre-empted a Charlotte city ordinance that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories in such things as job discrimination and public accommodations, including restrooms and changing rooms. H.B. 2 nullified that ordinance, among other provisions.

“The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce is seeking to fill a part-time, temporary position, 15 – 20 hours a week, for economic research and analysis on the economic impact of N.C. House Bill 2,” the ad states. The person getting the job will report directly to the chamber’s vice president of government affairs, Emily Atkinson, the chamber’s state government lobbyist, according to the ad, which ran on Upwork.com, an online job service catering to freelance writers, editors, and programmers.

When contacted to find out more about the project, Raleigh Chamber spokeswoman Vernessa Roberts said, “You have a job description. That’s all there is to say. The position is available.” Roberts would not answer any questions about the kind of  “research and analysis” the new position is expected to produce.

The job description listed the following responsibilities:

1) Data collection and analysis:

  • Review, clip and collect data from all news articles related to H.B. 2
  • Collect statements from business, organizations and associations that have made statements about H.B. 2
  • Collect financial impact data from businesses that choose to leave North Carolina, decrease their presence/business dealings in North Carolina, and/or choose not to consider North Carolina as a relocation or expansion destination
  • Log contacts from individuals that choose to not move to, vacation in, or take a job in North Carolina, or purchase goods and services from North Carolina businesses.

2) Creation of a financial impact report that can be shared with key decision makers and community leaders.  

Resumes are due by April 15.

Roy Cordato, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president of research and resident scholar, said the duties listed in the job description most likely would result in analysis that lacks intellectual rigor and is better suited for advocacy rather than scholarly insight.

“The questions addressed are completely one-sided. For example, if disposable income is not spent on a Bruce Springsteen concert that is canceled, where will it be spent and how might those other businesses benefit?,” Cordato asked. “If a business that is getting government subsidies like PayPal chooses not to invest in North Carolina, what benefits would come about as a result of taxpayer savings and as a result of the release of resources that the subsidized company is not using?”

Cordato added: “Of course this leaves aside the fact that none of this impact report would be based on hard data but instead on public statements and news clippings.”