North Carolina’s total unemployment rate is showing small but steady improvement, but the employment gains are not shared equally by all communities in the state. Progress made in this uneven recovery continues to pass over many rural and low-wealth communities, where unemployment remains persistently high and job growth is stagnant – or, in some cases, negative.
At the same time, in many of these communities, local revenues have not made significant gains since the official economic recovery was declared in June 2010, and subsequently, local budgets remain tight. Since local governments function as sizeable employers in their counties—and not just as providers of public services—tight budgets can have a significant impact on a county’s jobs picture, and do so in ways that vary from county to county across the state. Read more