Today, the House Finance Committee passed a significant overhaul of the state’s unemployment insurance program that dramatically cuts the elligibility, duration, and amount of benefits for jobless workers. As the latest issue of Prosperity Watch makes clear, these reductions in jobless benefits will take effect in the midst of persistently high unemployment and at a time when unemployed workers outnumber available job openings by 3-to-1. This means that three unemployed workers are chasing every one available job, and even if every job opening is filled, there would still be two more looking for work. See the latest Prosperity Watch for details on the state’s struggling labor market.
Prosperity Watch: Abolishing corporate, personal income tax eliminates 60 percent of state’s revenue
In recent weeks, lawmakers in North Carolina have proposed a number of tax reform plans that would abolish the corporate and personal income taxes and shift the state’s revenue base to a consumption tax. As the newest issue of Prosperity Watch describes, taking this approach would immediately eliminate 60 percent of the state’s annual revenue. How would the state fill in this $12 billion dollar hole? See here for more details.
As policy makers consider reforms to the state’s unemployment insurance program, the latest issue of Prosperity Watch provides some sobering news. Despite an improving national economy, North Carolina’s labor market continues to struggle, as the state’s unemployment rate remains stuck above 9 percent and the jobs deficit continues to grow. Given these trends, it is clear that the problem facing North Carolina’s workers is the lack of available job openings–a fact with significant implications for the unemployment insurance reform debate. See the latest issue of Prosperity Watch for details.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, Americans have traditionally celebrated the abundance long believed to be hallmark of our national experience. As the latest issue of Prosperity Watch makes clear, however, that abundance is increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands in North Carolina. Income inequality has exploded in the state, leaving North Carolina with one of the greatest gaps in the nation between those at the bottom in terms of income and those at the top. For more details on the drivers behind our state’s exploding income inequality, see the most recent Prosperity Watch.
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.