The pledge to focus on jobs appears to be falling from the new majorities priority list if last week’s legislation is any indication. That is too bad. It is clear from the latest state unemployment numbers released last week that North Carolina’s labor market continues to struggle with recovery.
Over the entire year of 2010, North Carolina netted just 10,400 jobs. To put that in perspective, in order to get to pre-recession levels by 2015, North Carolina needs to be creating slightly more than 14,000 jobs each month. That’s roughly 168,000 jobs a year. 168,000 jobs needed vs. 10,400 net jobs created. We are far from where we need to be in sustaining an economic recovery with jobs.
One important step towards fulfilling the jobs pledge will be to preserve existing jobs in the public sector–ones that fulfill critical functions like educating children in our local communities, for example–and in the private sector. We simply can’t afford to widen the jobs shortfall.