Prosperity Watch (Issue 62, Number 3): 100 months since the Great Recession started, 100,000+ North Carolinians still out of work

June 28, 2016
May 2016 marks an anniversary of sorts for North Carolina and the nation: the 100th month since the start of the Great Recession. Despite a national economic recovery that began in July 2009; however, the lack of progress in North Carolina since  the start of the Great Recession shows just how unlike prior recoveries this one has been.  
North Carolina still has more than 200,000 jobless workers, and the concentration of what job growth there has been is primarily in the major metropolitan areas of Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte, leaving most communities with too few job openings for those who seek employment. 
Comparing North Carolina’s progress 100 months after the start of each of the past four recessions shows just how lackluster our performance has been this time. In the current 100th month marker, North Carolina has seen employment growth of just 3.4 percent. Excepting the 2001 recession—in which the 100-month mark falls in the nation’s Great Recession—the two prior periods saw employment growth of between 20 and nearly 30 percent  in the state. 
The failure of the state economy  to deliver high and sustained job growth this far into the recovery has led to depressed wages and persistently high hardship.  These poor economic outcomes hold the state, and the nation, back and continue to require public policy approaches that seek to boost wages, create good jobs and invest in the workforce today and for the future.


Research & Publications: