Tuesday, November 22, 2011

North Carolina's job recession continues

Yet another month has passed, and we're left to ask "where are the jobs that Republicans promised with their tax-cutting austerity budget?"

This morning, the Department of Labor released its monthly report on state employment and unemployment. Compared to the rest of the country, North Carolina continues to under-perform.

The state's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate edged down from 10.5 percent in September to 10.4 percent in October. In June, the month before the Republican budget went into effect, the unemployment rate was 9.9 percent. Also, a substantial part of October's decline was due to 3,500 North Carolinians leaving the labor market and thus no longer being counted as part of the unemployed.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the state added a measly 5,500 jobs in October. On net, private sector jobs were unchanged--the slight gain in jobs came from the partial recovery of state and local government jobs. The number of jobs continues to be substantially lower than this spring and to largely reflect net changes in public employment.

After overriding the Governor's veto of their budget in June, the Republicans bragged
In November 2010, the people of North Carolina used the ballot box to send a message to North Carolina lawmakers: State government must reduce costs and regulation on the people, so that they can create jobs and prosperity. Years of overspending by Democrats had given North Carolina the highest tax rates in the Southeast and a budget shortfall of at least $3 billion. High taxes were killing jobs.

...Our budget contains the largest tax rate cut in the history of North Carolina. It makes our state more competitive with our neighbors again. It puts almost $1.5 billion back in to the hands of hard working North Carolinians.
Funny thing about those job-killing high taxes, they were associated with thousands more jobs than the low-tax, competitive Nirvana that Republicans created.

Businesses and wealthy North Carolina households now enjoy lower taxes than they did last year, and they are using that bonanza to create...well, not much of anything at all.