Friday, July 22, 2011

Lawmakers to blame for jump in jobless

The nonpartisan N.C. Budget and Tax Center, a project of the N.C. Justice Center, points a finger at the N.C. General Assembly for the rise in North Carolina's unemployment rate in June. The rate rose to 9.9 percent, largely driven by job losses in the public sector, the Center said. And this is expected to be just the first wave of the job loss impacts of state budget cuts, observers say.

“We can draw a direct line between this rise in unemployment and the loss of public sector jobs,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the NC Budget & Tax Center. “As state job losses continue to mount, we will likely see more pronounced economic effects throughout North Carolina.”

The jobless rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point from May to June. During that time, 7,600 jobs were lost in state government.

The increase in unemployment claims was driven by the loss of jobs in local and state education.
North Carolina has lost 7.2 percent of its jobs since the beginning of the recession in December 2007. “We’re now seeing the short-term impacts of defunding vital public investments,” Sirota said. “Over the long term, the economic ripple effect from lost investments in education and job creation will become clear as well.”

What do you think?