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As seen in the latest issue of Prosperity Watch, North Carolina’s persistently high unemployment rate is not only the result of having 3 workers for every available job, but also due to weaknesses in those industries that employ the majority of the state’s workers.  Only a fraction of the state’s employment base is concentrated in industries that are poised for long-term growth and pay decent wages, while the overwhelming majority of North Carolina’s workers are employed in industries experiencing long-term decline–a serious problem for ensuring the long-term economic competitiveness of the state. For details, see this week’s Prosperity Watch.

 

Our national economy may be doing better than we thought.  Despite a disappointing state unemployment report from DES last week, we got a jolt of good news this morning on the national economy, with the release of new numbers by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed that the US labor market created 386,000 more jobs last year than we originally thought.  And as a result, the new numbers make it clear that the national labor market has now replaced the jobs lost since January 2009 and moved into positive territory to the tune of 125,000 net jobs created. 

As an interesting side note, these new numbers include 453,000 additional private sector jobs offset by the loss 67,000 more government jobs than anticipated, once again demonstrating how public sector spending cuts and employee layoffs are reducing the gains in private sector job growth.

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A new study from the N.C. Budget and Tax Center confirms what a lot of worker advocates have been saying for some time: average North Carolina workers are working harder and more productively than ever but their their wages are stagnant or falling. Meanwhile, high end jobs continue to grow, thus contributing to a two-tier labor market in which mid-level wage employment is disappearing as the jobs are outsourced overseas.

Here are the key findings:

  • The economic recovery from the Great Recession is different from any recovery in the last 30 years, as seen in unprecedentedly sluggish job creation and, perhaps most obviously, falling wages.
  • A unique feature of the current sluggish recovery is the productivity gap, in which—for the first time in 30 years—rising worker productivity (a key driver of economic growth) is not being rewarded with higher wages.
  • This productivity gap has contributed to the emergence of a two-tier labor market, with growth in low-wage and high-wage occupations, but little growth in between. The result is the worst wage inequality seen in 30 years.

Read the entire report by clicking here.

 

New figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the economy added 103,000 new jobs in September. But the increase was not enough to move the nation’s unemployment rate downward, which remains at 9.1 percent.

With a staggering 14 million Americans unemployed, the Obama administration is continuing to press Congress to pass the American Jobs Act.

Congressman David Price has said the $447 billion package will improve the economy by cutting payroll taxes for employees and employers, helping states retain teachers and firefighters, and creating jobs through much-needed infrastructure projects.

Price, who appears on News & Views this weekend, says it’s troubling that Republicans are allowing “blind ideology” to stand in the way of many of the bipartisan proposals included in the jobs plan.

For a preview of Rep. Price’s radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:

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