North Carolina Unemployment Shoots to 9.7% for January

North Carolina's unemployment situation looks grim. Our rate is the highest it has been since 1983 with manufacturing and construction taking the biggest hits. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to those who have lost their jobs.

Just this morning, 300 employees lost their jobs at the Dell plant in Forsyth County.

"I was going in as on a normal morning -- next thing I know, I look up and they come and walk me to the office and say I am no longer employed at Dell," an employee who would only identify himself as Keith said. "I was shocked, but I kind of felt it coming. There has been a whole lot of speculation. There was a bunch of rumors, but it eventually happened."

Hundreds of millions of dollars in tax liabilities were written off for Dell Computers with only about 10% being tied to their ability to employ 1700 workers - a number Dell never reached at the plant before layoffs started.

I know we need to attract businesses, but maybe next time we can skip the whole bending over and grabbing our ankles part.


Several thoughts

Full list of Jan 2009 rankings by state here

It is clear that we are going to need more government services for citizens in need of social welfare programs during this part of the economic cycle.

However, we're already hearing (as we always do) from the usual suspects, that we need to cut taxes to make our state more competitive for business. The JLFers and their puppets in the legislature love to point to South Carolina and Gov. Mark Sanford as some paragon of economics.

Well, Gov. Sanford's South Carolina has an even higher unmployment rate than North Carolina. Let the JLFers and their business buddies move there and continue the great job they've done leading South Carolina quickly to the bottom.

The health care industry is strangling small business, big business, governments, doctors, and patients all. It's long past time to kick their lobbyists out of your offices on Jones Street and make health care mean actual health care, not health-if-you-can-sometimes-navigate-the-insurance-industry.

As for the "business-friendly" Democrats in NC, take a second look as Betsy's post and see what kissing up to business gets you. When push comes to shove, they drop you like bad habit. It's time to drop the bad habit of corporate welfare tax giveaways to businesses that can't even stay afloat.


There are terrific ways to attract businesses

that certainly aren't free, but offer benefits to a much larger segment of the North Carolina community.

A better educated workforce through strong public education, community college system, university system, etc. is a great way to attract businesses.

A strong, sound infrastructure - strengthening our infrastructure not only makes our communities a better place to live, work and raise our families but can provide lots of jobs in the process.

Reducing our crime rate...oh where to start on this one. Yes, we can hire more police, state troopers, sheriff's deputies, etc but we can also take a long-term approach. Reach children while they are young. Provide a solid public education and assist with strong, fun, educational after school programs. Develop mentoring programs for at-risk children. Make college more affordable. ...and the list goes on.

This is just a sampling.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Diferent impacts

If these are the averages, some parts of the State are hurting a lot more than others. Raleigh and Greensboro actually added jobs in the 4th quarter 2008. Even in Raleigh I was talking with someone today who lives in a neighborhood with lots of RTP folks. Some people are so fearful of losing their jobs that they are putting their homes on the market, not because they need to, but as an insurance policy. This is further suppressing the housing market.

Five job seekers for every job?


As anybody who has studied the issue knows, the true Triangle unemployment rate is probably twice the official rate as determined by state government. Im sure the newbie at ESC, Moses Carey is finding this out.

There simply arent enough good jobs for all those masses of colleged educated folks in the Triangle who want them.


I am well aware that official rates do not capture true unemployment rates.

The Raleigh / Cary area is faring better than most. If the official average rate is high, my point is that some parts of the State must be hit more than others.

Some people with two jobs have lost their second job. People with jobs are causing a slight boom in medical and dental care because of fear of losing health insurance. My point is that beyond official and unofficial unemployment rates there is underemployment and even people with jobs are taking defensive measures.

Things are worse than they seem. Even if this is the bottom, it will take a long time to crawl back up. Most of the boom was the housing/finance bubble. We need real economic growth that we haven't seen for 8 years.