Commentary, News

The sobering data for small towns in NC just keep on coming

The latest “Prosperity Watch” update from the folks at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center makes clear that if there is any kind of “Carolina Comeback,” it is pretty much bypassing our small towns:

As of September 2015, 22 of the state’s 25 smaller cities and towns known as micropolitan areas continued to have more unemployed people than before September 2007 just before the Great Recession began.

Persistent high numbers of unemployed are occurring even as the unemployment rate declines.  This rate drop masks the range of challenges in weak labor markets including insufficient job creation to meet the growing population, declining numbers in the labor force and the resulting failure of wages for the average worker to increase.

For the state’s micropolitan areas with elevated numbers of unemployed, 17 also continued to experience a lower number of employed.  Of the three areas where the number of unemployed decline, Mount Airy, Rockingham and Laurinburg, the labor force and number of employed also declined over the period.  This demonstrates that a decline in the number of unemployed alone is not sufficient indication of a healthy labor market.

In order to see improvement in the labor markets of micropolitan areas as well as the state, it is important to look for increases in the number of employed, growth or stability in the labor force AND declines in the number of unemployed.

 

Check Also

National think tank: Why Raleigh should be among top five Amazon finalists

There are lots of legitimate concerns about Raleigh’s ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Nothing is off the table when it comes to Republican judicial reform, and a former Wake County judge [...]

On a cozy autumn evening at the luxurious Umstead Hotel in Cary, a medley of corporate luminaries, s [...]

A fix for North Carolina’s class size crisis in March? A GOP senator from Wake County tells his cons [...]

Back in September, the N.C. Historical Commission put off a decision on removing three Confederate m [...]

It was a snowy and shortened work week for a lot of people in North Carolina, but unfortunately, tha [...]

Mounting student debt is a nagging problem for most families these days. As the cost of higher educa [...]

Latest racist attacks on immigrants could be an important tipping point As bleak as our national pol [...]

Grand constitutional questions in this country aren’t settled until the Supreme Court has its say, e [...]

Upcoming Events

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more