NC economic recovery? Analysts question governor’s assessment

By Stephanie Carson
Public News Service-NC

CHAPEL HILL — Not everyone is buying Governor Pat McCrory’s claim of success after October unemployment numbers indicated the state has recovered the jobs lost during the Great Recession.

While the number of people employed last month is slightly above pre-recession levels, John Quinterno with South By North Strategies in Chapel Hill says that’s not the whole story.

Gov. Pat McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory

“Just because we have the same number of payroll jobs that we did almost seven years ago is not the same thing as a recovery,” he says. “In no way, shape or form should that be taken as a sign we won the battle against unemployment in North Carolina.”

Quinterno said a healthy economy needs to add jobs to support population growth. Analysts estimate more than 280,000 workers are not counted in the unemployment data because they have given up on finding a job. If they were included, the unemployment rate would be 12.5 percent, versus the reported 6.3 percent.

Quinterno says North Carolina has to add more than 400,000 jobs to accommodate the 11 percent rate of population growth the state has experienced since 2007.

“Replacing the number of jobs lost during the recession is not enough,” he says. “You have to replace those jobs and you need to be creating jobs each month to accommodate the growth and the size of the workforce.”

According to South by North Strategies, the state has more than 28 percent more unemployed residentsthan it did seven years ago.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, News

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