Friday, June 26, 2009

Joblessness up; public investment needed?

A new report says nearly three-fourths of N.C. counties have hit double digit unemployment, with Hickory, Rocky Mount and Greenville hit especially hard. 82 of the state's 100 counties saw an increase in unemployment during May, said the Employment Security Commission. Five counties joined the list of those with double-digit joblessness, bringing the number to 72.

Greenville saw the highest month-to-month jump - from 10.1 percent to 11 percent unemployment. The highest unemployment rates were found in Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, followed by Rocky Mount. Accordint to the N.C. Justice Center, "Significantly, loss of government jobs began to play a role in growing unemployment. With cuts in state and local spending, more government positions are frozen or eliminated, contributing to the rise in joblessness."

Notes the Justice Center's Elaine Mejia, as more and more working families are thrown out of work, public investment is absolutely necessary. Government programs don't just stimulate the economy, they provide essential support for people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves jobless."It's particularly important, Mejia, said, for people to have access to the NC Health Choice program, which provides health insurance for the children of working families who do not have health insurance through their employer. Another way the state can help, she said, is by keeping doors to community colleges open for workers who seek retraining after being thrown out of work.


JAT said...

Meck got $25m. in unemployment benefits in May alone, compared to $20m. for Wake.

Just how much more of an investment do we need, and wouldn't it be cheaper for folks to move to where the jobs are?