RALEIGH (July 1, 2020) — As the expiration of federal Unemployment Insurance provisions on July 25th nears, local labor market figures for May released today show persistent employment losses due to COVID-19 across North Carolina.

“The continued elevated levels of joblessness that erased a decade of job gains calls for policies that extend until key employment benchmarks are hit and signal that our recovery is underway and inclusive of all workers,” said Alexandra Sirota, Director of the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. “The lessons of the Great Recession should be clear: cutting off wage replacement to jobless workers before every community saw sustained job growth led to persistent barriers to work for people of color, people working for worse wages, and an incomplete recovery for many rural communities before this downturn.”

For daily updates on the number of Unemployment Insurance claims and ongoing analysis of the economic impact of COVID-19, visit NCJustice.org/labormarket.

May data shows employment gains since the Great Recession were erased in 83 of North Carolina’s 100 counties: By the end of May, the persistent pattern of significant losses to employment gains since the Great Recession raise ongoing concerns that places with lower employment heading into the current recession will be farther behind in the recovery without additional support for workers and businesses.

Communities reliant on travel and tourism continue to see some of the worst losses: Some of the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt in coastal and mountain communities that rely the most on travel and tourism to bring dollars into their local economies.

For charts showing the most recent labor data, including the context of COVID-19 effects, visit the Budget & Tax Center’s Labor Market page.

For more context on the economic choices facing North Carolina, check out the Budget & Tax Center’s monthly Prosperity Watch report.

The nonpartisan Budget & Tax Center is a project of the NC Justice Center, which works to eliminate poverty in North Carolina by ensuring every household in the state has access to the resources, services and fair treatment it needs to achieve economic security.