North Carolina needs to remove barriers to boost the economy through full employment and to build the connections for workers who want a job to find one.

North Carolina stands to gain $11.3 billion in economic activity by simply ensuring that everyone who wants to work has a good job that pays family-supporting wages and by not allowing one’s gender or race to predict whether that will be the reality for them.

By maintaining historic barriers to opportunity and erecting new ones, we only hold our state back from the competitive leadership role we have long sought to secure nationally and across the globe.

Full employment in the state would generate an economic boost for the broader economy and all North Carolinians. By increasing the income of people across the state—in rural and in urban communities—employment equity will ensure more dollars are circulating locally and that North Carolina is realizing the full  potential of its current workforce.

Historic legacies and current barriers to opportunity mean that struggling rural areas across the state often face greater challenges in achieving employment equity. People of color also face higher levels of unemployment than whites across all education levels— further evidence of how pervasive the barriers to opportunity are in many communities.