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As the latest issue of Prosperity Watch explains, the fundamental challenge facing the state’s labor market is the absence of enough available job openings to make a meaningful dent in the state’s jobs deficit and to bring down the state’s persistently high unemployment rate. This reality has tremendous implications for the state’s unemployed workers if the benefits cuts contained in the recently-passed unemployment insurance reform bill are enacted.  See the latest issue of Prosperity Watch for details.

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.

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.