The State of Working North Carolina: Good, Quality Jobs for a Robust Economic Recovery - Projections for a Booming Low-Wage Labor Market and Ways to Create Better Opportunities

By Allan Freyer
Public Policy Analyst, NC Budget & Tax Center
September 2011


  • As of 2010, nearly 725,000 North Carolinians were engaged in low‐wage work, earning on average just $9.87 an hour, well below what it takes for a family to make ends meet in any community in North Carolina.
  • Two of the three occupations expected to experience the highest growth over the next decade pay just half of the Living Income Standard, a market‐based measure of what it takes for a family to meet basic needs in North Carolina.
  • State leaders can craft policies in economic development and workforce training programs that encourage the creation of good, quality jobs and help workers access those jobs, thereby strengthening the economic recovery.