MEDIA RELEASE: Public sector job losses drive increase in unemployment

As unemployment nears 10 percent, North Carolina begins to feel the impact of state budget cuts

RALEIGH (July 22, 2011) – North Carolina’s unemployment rate increased to 9.9 percent in June, largely driven by job losses in the public sector. This is just the first wave of the job loss impacts of state budget cuts, observers say.

“We can draw a direct line between this rise in unemployment and the loss of public sector jobs,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the NC Budget & Tax Center. “As state job losses continue to mount, we will likely see more pronounced economic effects throughout North Carolina.”
The jobless rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point from May to June. During that time, 7,600 jobs were lost in state government.
The increase in unemployment claims was driven by the loss of jobs in local and state education.
North Carolina has lost 7.2 percent of its jobs since the beginning of the recession in December 2007.
“We’re now seeing the short-term impacts of de-funding vital public investments,” Sirota said. “Over the long term, the economic ripple effect from lost investments in education and job creation will become clear as well.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Alexandra Forter Sirota, director, NC Budget & Tax Center,, 919.861.1468; Jeff Shaw, director of communications, NC Justice Center,, 503.551.3615 (mobile).
The N.C. Budget and Tax Center--a project of the N.C. Justice Center-- seeks to create economic opportunity and shared prosperity for all North Carolinians through non-partisan research, education and advocacy on budget, tax and economic issues.