Posted Jun. 15, 2012 at 6:45 a.m.

Premium Lock What explains N.C.'s high unemployment rate?

Published: 2012-06-15 06:45:01
Updated: 2012-06-15 06:45:01

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Analysis: Prior to the recession, North Carolina had an unemployment rate near 4.5 percent. At the worst point in the recession, the state's jobless rate soared to 11.4 percent, tied for seventh highest in the nation. The big question is, why? There's no easy answer....

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I think a reason why NC's unemployment remains high is that there just is not a large industrial presence in this state yet. There are high tech companies in NC - but most of the software and equipment they make is bought by out of state companies. When the big ones like IBM lay off and slow hiring - those displaced workers often have a harder time than aniticipated finder local employers who can use their skills. Their high tech skills are still in high demand, but most openings are out of state. When several large IT firms simultaneously lay off and slow hiring the market becomes filled with a lot of IT worker with good skills who suddenly have to scramble for the few local positions available. It's like having an automobile plant in a state that still rides horses. Having a small industrial base also impacts the unskilled who would normally be the factory workers, they are forced into low paying service industry positions.
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