By Tazra Mitchell
Fellow, Budget & Tax Center
Over the past four decades, forward-thinking policies have enabled women to gain a stronger foothold in the labor market. Unfortunately, the economic downturn and lackluster recovery rolled back some of the economic improvements women achieved during this time. Tar Heel women continue to deal with elevated levels of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty compared to men–despite having higher education levels. Rather than enacting policies that increase women’s economic security, state lawmakers have pursued policies that fall particularly hard on low-income women and their families.