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Economic security throughout the life course is linked to income and asset ownership. Households that are poor or low-income have a hard time building assets and, as a result, face a significant barrier to long-term financial stability. According to a recent report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), asset poverty is on the rise in North Carolina.

More than 1 in 4 households in the state are “asset poor,” meaning they do not have adequate resources to keep them out of poverty for three months in case of a layoff, a reduction in hourly wages, or an emergency. Nearly 1 in 2 households are “liquid asset poor,” meaning they do not have immediate access to savings. Even more unsettling, the share of asset-poor households is much higher for households of color.

Asset poverty is distinct from the traditional federal poverty threshold—which was $22,314 for a family of four in 2010—as it measures a household’s financial vulnerability as well as the ability to access opportunities requiring significant upfront investments

What qualifies as an asset or a liquid asset? If you listened to Fergus Hodgson, the Director of Fiscal Studies at the John Locke Foundation, on Carolina Journal Radio (audio is included below), you may believe that household appliances are assets.

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The unemployed in North Carolina are in limbo once again, with the extended benefits for some of the long-term unemployment expected to dry up on Jan. 28 – less than three weeks from today.

The N.C. Division of Employment Security estimates 25,000 North Carolinians will be kicked off of their extended benefits by the end of the month, unless state officials take action in coming days to extend the federally-funded benefits past that date.

The anticipated Jan. 28 cut-off comes despite a two-month extension passed by the U.S. Congress on Dec. 23 that many thought would keep money flowing to the jobless to the end of February.

The state employment agency, known as the N.C. Employment Security Commission before being folded under the state’s commerce department, has posted a notice with limited information on its website about the cut-off .

As of December 23, Congress and the President authorized a two-month extension of emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) benefits and extended benefits. In North Carolina, the last payable week for extended benefits (EB) is expected to be January 28. Read More

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No, you’re not imagining things: more and more events really ARE springing up all over in which average people are coming together to highlight the absurdity of a nation in which one in ten people are jobless at the same time that corporate profits and CEO salaries are shooting through the roof.  

Tonight’s event: A candlelight vigil/press conference this evening in Raleigh to shine a spotlight on our state’s unemployed and underemployed workers.

When: Tonight, 6:15 – 7:15 pm

Where: Bicentennial Mall: 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC (across the street from the NC General Assembly)