Commentary

New data: More confirmation that McCrory’s “Carolina Comeback” was illusory

The latest Prosperity Watch from Dr. Patrick McHugh at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center pours another big bucket of cold water on conservative claims (frequently trumpeted by former Governor pat McCrory) that their slash and burn austerity policies have somehow engineered a rousing economic comeback in North Carolina. The hard truth: North Carolina continues to lag behind.

Neighbor States Outpacing North Carolina in Job Growth across Most Sectors

North Carolina’s economic performance over the last year has not kept up with many states in our part of the country. Labor market figures for June show that job growth over the last year has fallen short of the broader South Atlantic region in almost every industry sector tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As shown here, North Carolina and the greater Southeast Region both added jobs over the last year. However, North Carolina’s growth of 1.7% trailed the 2.1% growth rate posted by the region (defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as including Delaware, Maryland, the District of Colombia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida).

Perhaps even more alarmingly, the largest shortfalls are in sectors that have traditionally been the bedrock of the working middle class in North Carolina. Employment in construction, for example, expanded by 3.4% over the last year across the South Atlantic region, a rate of growth over six times faster than North Carolina’s 0.6% growth. The story is even worse when it comes to manufacturing: North Carolina actually lost jobs over the last year while the broader South Atlantic Region added jobs in the sector.

The lone sector where North Carolina exceeded the rate of growth for the broader region has been in Professional and Business Services, where North Carolina added 5% more jobs over the last year. This bright spot is certainly important, but it is also a sector that often requires advanced training beyond the reach of many working North Carolinians.

The trends make one thing clear. Meager job growth — specifically in sectors that have traditionally been the source of many family-supporting jobs —  is placing enormous burdens on an already challenged middle class in North Carolina.

Check Also

Editorial: The path to creating better readers in our schools is not about quick fixes

Be sure to check out the lead editorial ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Peter Romary worked for UNC board member Tom Fetzer, but claimed connections to Senate leader Phil B [...]

GREENSBORO – A Pender County graduate almost missed an opportunity to pursue his dream job because h [...]

Lawmakers criticize probe as "threat to academic freedom" U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Michigan [...]

North Carolina lawmakers are drawing electoral maps for the second time this year – this time, they [...]

The post Berger on shaky ground appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Today marks 100 days since I filed an official request with the Department of Public Instruction to [...]

Yesterday, the North Carolina Supreme Court considered whether immigrants detained unlawfully under [...]

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned its 2019 legislative session last week. Sort of. Lawma [...]