From Yes! Weekly:
Half of North Carolina families with children don’t earn sufficient income to pay for basic expenses, according to a new report by the Raleigh-based NC Justice Center.
“Failing Jobs, Falling Wages: The 2005 North Carolina Living Income Standard,” authored by John Quinterno and Elizabeth Jordan and released on Dec. 8, found that a majority of North Carolina children, blacks, Hispanics and women — practically every demographic except white males — live in households where income falls short of the cost of living.
“What we’re finding is that families are carrying a heavier burden because childcare and housing costs are increasing,” Legislative Director Sorien Schmidt said. “Median incomes are falling and more families are in poverty.”
It is a sad state of affairs when only half of the families in our state are able to pay for basics. But the problems are not universal across the state:
The report states that rural areas have lagged behind economically as explosive growth in Charlotte and the Triangle has created good jobs for the well educated while escalating costs for low-income workers employed in the service sector. The Triad falls somewhere in between, Schmidt said.
“The Triad is where you’ve lost manufacturing jobs,” she said. “They’ve been replaced by service and retail. That means that people can be working the same or more hours for less money and paying about the same for the cost of living.”