Budget & Tax Center report analyzes key indicators on prosperity in N.C., finds many are being left behind

Raleigh (Dec. 14, 2017) — This month marks 10 years since the beginning of the Great Recession, and a new report from the Budget & Tax Center takes a look at the numbers to see how North Carolina has fared over those years. The verdict? The past decade has done little to address the fundamental economic problems facing North Carolina. The worst of the recession may have passed, but many barriers to economic opportunity and security remain.

The report “Ten Years After the Great Recession, N.C. has an Economy that Works for Some” documents the persistence of long-standing economic inequalities (particularly along racial lines), a deepening divide between wealthy investors and everyone else, a lack of robust job growth overall, and the continued concentration of economic opportunity in a few metropolitan areas. 

“None of these pathologies are natural, but rather the lack of adequate policy response, and their continued existence demands real solutions,” said Patrick McHugh, Budget & Tax Center Economic Analyst and the author of the report.

Among the major themes of the report:

  • Job growth isn’t cutting it: N.C. has not been creating enough jobs to meet the demands of a growing population. 
  • Racial barriers to prosperity remain: Persistent structural barriers mean communities of color were hit hardest by the recession, and disparities in pay and poverty rates remain.  
  • Income and wealth inequality has continued to expand: Investors got richer, but virtually none of that money made it into the paychecks of working North Carolinians. And middle-class jobs continue to dry up.
  • Many communities have not recovered: Half of North Carolina’s counties have not gotten back to where they were before the Recession, and a third of the counties in our state have lost jobs even as the plodding national recovery continues.

Download the entire report here.

For more info, contact: Patrick McHugh, Budget & Tax Center Economic Analyst, 919-856-2183 or patrick.mchugh@ncjustice.org; or Mel Umbarger, Budget & Tax Center Senior Communications Specialist, mel@ncjustice.org.

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