Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gov. Perdue's reelection challenge

No wonder Gov. Bev Perdue has dubbed herself "the jobs governor." She has received fair warning from one of North Carolina's preeminent economists that jobs could be a big problem for her reelection efforts.

Wells Fargo chief economist John Silvia was at the Mecklenburg County commissioners' annual retreat this morning, giving a picture of the economic landscape. County manager Harry Jones asked Silvia and UNC Charlotte economist John Connaughton how long it would be before Mecklenburg's unemployment rate would be back at pre-recession levels.

"Five to seven years," Connaughton said.

"I'll tell you what I told Bev Perdue," Silvia said: She's going to be running for reelection in 2012 with a higher unemployment rate than when she was elected. (The N.C. rate was 7.5 percent in November 2008; it's 11.2 percent now.)

His point was that that's probably going to be true no matter what she does, because of larger economic forces. Now if you're a sitting governor, that's a heck of a conundrum.

-- Posted by Taylor Batten