Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Another “wave” election of wholesale change appears headed our way in November 2012, and the drivers are rising worries about unemployment as well as the woeful economy.

UPDATE: Read this headline from The New York Daily News: ”Mayor Bloomberg predicts riots in the streets if economy doesn’t create more jobs”

North Carolina’s unemployment rate is back in double figures, high tech job openings are dropping, and new data for August will be released today. Meanwhile, the national rate remains above 9 percent – (the new normal?) and the “real” jobless rate is double that if you count the people who are underemployed or have dropped out of the workforce.

Data released Friday shows NC unemployment in August climbed to 10.4 percent, up from 10.1 percent in July and the highest since the 10.5 percent rate of June 2010. (Read details here.)

More and more Americans are getting fed up, too, as a new Gallup poll released Thursday indicates. (Read poll results here.)

Thirty-nine percent of Americans in September name unemployment or jobs as the most important problem facing the country, up from 29 percent in August,” Gallup reported.

“Unemployment has now passed ‘the economy’ as the most frequently mentioned issue. In the month since the passage of debt ceiling legislation, concerns about the federal budget deficit have eased, while the percentage citing dissatisfaction with government as the top problem has held steady at 14 percent.”

So what’s Gallup’s conclusion about the meaning of its latest data?

“The nation is still struggling to recover from the 2008-2009 recession. Unemployment remains high, and Americans once again cite it as the top overall problem facing the United States. President Obama has laid out a plan to address the issue and submitted a bill to Congress, though at this point it is not clear if the measure will pass. Regardless of whether it passes, the jobs outlook over the next 13 months will be an important factor in determining whether voters elect to keep Obama in his current job beyond January 2013.”

But what about Congress?

And what about the political leadership in North Carolina from the Governor’s mansion to the General Assembly?

“More generally, economic concerns continue to dominate Americans’ perceptions of the country’s top problems,” Gallup says.

“Seventy-six percent mention some economic issue as the most important problem, including three of the top four specific issues — unemployment, the economy in general, and the budget deficit. Dissatisfaction with government ranks as the top non-economic issue, followed by healthcare.”

Jobs and the economy – who has the right answers?

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