The rest of the nation is in a slow but steady recovery with a steady rise in employment. Not here in North Carolina, though. According to the Wall Street Journal, that bastion of liberalism, workforce has declined by 64,000 people since last February and we lost 11,300 jobs in February, the most of any state in the nation.
Since the GOP took power in 2011, the state’s recovery mirrored the nation’s, indicating the Republican economic policies were having little impact on employment. Then, in the summer, the GOP gave the richest North Carolinians a massive tax break that was going to spur employment. So far, it hasn’t worked. Since the summer, we’ve been losing jobs instead of adding them.
Republicans are crowing about a fast dropping unemployment rate. However, they kicked more than 170,000 off of unemployment benefits, people who would no longer be counted as out of work when calculating the unemployment rate. As the WSJ article acknowledges, economists believe that ending the unemployment benefits has caused the drop, making it a reflection of statistics instead of a healthy economy.
At the same time, the state is continuing to grow. Since 2010, the population has increased by more than 300,000 people. By the end of the year, we will be just shy of 10 million people. In essence, more people are moving into the state but fewer people are working to support them.
When Republicans talk about the national debt they always talk compare it to a family living within its means. It’s a lousy analogy but since it works for them, let’s extend it to our current situation.
It’s like we have a family of four with two people working who have seen their wages stagnate years. Now, the in-laws are moving in from up north with little or no income and the family has to build an addition to house them. But the real kicker is the multi-millionaire brother down the street who just got a tax break and won’t pitch in to help.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >