So, Pew Charitable Trust says North Carolina will be the eleventh best state in the country for job growth in 2014. According to a list sourced as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we were 25th in 2013. So that’s a nice jump. However, Kipplinger predicted that we would have the 9th best job growth in country in 2013.

Also today, John Quinterno of South by North Strategies says that local employment conditions are weak. Granted he’s looking at the individual counties as opposed the state as a whole, but all this seems a bit contradictory. At the very least it’s confusing.

The upshot, though, is that both sides in the political debate will use the data to back up their points. Republicans will say, “See, our tax cuts and deregulation are working. We’re about to take off!” Democrats, on the other hand, will say “Not so fast. Look at all those jobs leaving the rural areas.”

We won’t know much until later in the year. Maybe the job market takes off. Maybe it just makes modest gains. It will probably depend on where in the state you live. The big questions, though, have to do with well-being. Do voters feel like they are in a better position and are they optimistic for the future? Those are the questions that will determine the outcome of the elections, not any statistics paraded by either party.

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 >

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