The state budget could move 30,000 North Carolinians to unemployment lines over the next two years.
The N.C. Budget and Tax Center, a Raleigh-based non-partisan research group, released the 30,000 job loss figure today in a report about the future effects the $19.7 billion budget passed by the GOP-controlled legislature would have on the state’s economy.
To read the report, and look at how the analysis was conducted, click here. (Full disclosure: The N.C. Budget and Tax Center, like N.C. Policy Watch, is housed under the N.C. Justice Center, a non-partisan advocacy group for low-income North Carolinians.)
The BTC figure includes a total of 44,576 job losses over the next two years, and the creation of 14,793 new jobs from the budget’s proposed tax package, which combines a lowered corporate income tax rate with the expiration of a one-cent temporary sales tax. The takeaway? 29,782 jobs lost over the next two years.
Job losses will be felt most acutely by middle-class worker, with the average salary of a lost job at $40,438, according to the BTC report.
The BTC estimate comes the day after N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, vetoed the budget passed by the GOP-led state legislature. The legislature can move to override Perdue’s veto as early as tomorrow, and GOP leaders have been confident that five House Democrats who voted for the budget will join them in an override of Perdue’s veto.
The BTC report is the first comprehensive attempt to look at what will happen in the state if thousands of state government positions are eliminated. A UNC study conducted earlier this spring at the behest of legislative leaders showed that up to 20,000 jobs would be created in the private sector by scaling back the state’s corporate income and sales taxes. But the UNC study didn’t look at what job losses in state government-funded positions would mean in North Carolina communities. (To see a previous Progressive Pulse post about the UNC study, click here.)
The BTC report used the similar methods as the UNC study, but expanded to look at the job losses as well as job creation.
Update: A previous version had a broken hyperlink for the BTC study. It should be working now.