MEDIA RELEASE: Unemployment Still Hurting North Carolina's Families

Numbers released today highlight the need for action by Federal and State Lawmakers

RALEIGH (Nov. 20, 2009) -- North Carolina's deep and prolonged recession continues to wreak havoc on working families throughout the state, according to data released this morning by the Employment Security Commission.

According to the new numbers from ESC, 496,279 North Carolinians -- or 11% of the state's labor force -- were unemployed in October. This is an increase from the previous month, when the number of unemployed stood at 491,742 and the percentage was 10.8%.

With the recession nearing two full years, North Carolina's low- and middle-income workers are still bearing the brunt of the damage.

"No community in North Carolina is immune to the labor market crisis," said Elaine Mejia, director of the NC Budget & Tax Center. "The new numbers show that we still have a long way to go to achieve economic recovery."

Since the recession began 22 months ago, North Carolina has shed 240,100 jobs.

The new numbers, Mejia said, show a continued need for wise public investment in North Carolina's workers.

"As more and more families are affected by the unemployment crisis, effective government action is absolutely necessary," said Mejia. "Key public efforts such as unemployment benefits, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and children's health insurance support low-income workers and their families while stimulating the economy as well."

For More Information, Contact: Elaine Mejia, 919.856.2176; Jeff Shaw, Communications Director, 503.551.3615 (mobile).

The NC Budget & Tax Center provides timely, accessible and credible analysis of state and local budget and tax issues with a special focus on the impact on low- and moderate-income North Carolinians.