RALEIGH (May 20, 2016) — April did little to change North Carolina’s mixed economic picture. According to the Current Employment Survey, North Carolina only added 1,000 jobs last month, a stark contrast with recent claims that our economy is growing faster than any other state in the country.
“Folks here in Raleigh who boast that we have the best economy in country are not being honest about the facts on the ground,” said Patrick McHugh, a Budget & Tax Center Policy Analyst at the NC Justice Center. “More than a quarter million North Carolinians were looking for work last month, wages have fallen further behind the national average over the past few years, and many communities are still worse off than before the Great Recession. We shouldn’t be pleased or satisfied with that kind of record.”
Other key findings from the April labor market data include:
- North Carolina pay remains below the national average: The average weekly paycheck in North Carolina came in roughly $85 below the national mark in March. Compared to January 2012, when North Carolina weekly wages were roughly $58 below the nation, the gap has widened considerably.
- Still more North Carolinians out of work than before the Great Recession: There were roughly 265,000 North Carolinians looking for work last month, almost 36,000 more than before the Great Recession.
- Share of North Carolinians employed still below pre-recession levels and the national rate: North Carolina remains well below the level of employment that was commonplace before the Great Recession. In the mid-2000’s, employment levels reached a peak of about 63 percent. With 58.6% of North Carolinians reporting they worked last month, our level of employment remains below the national average.