North Carolina is in an odd position. Seven years after the Great Recession, we’ve seen a fair amount of economic growth – measured by gross state product - without accompanying job or wage growth. The Budget and Tax Center’s latest report, Growth Without Prosperity, takes an in-depth look at North Carolina’s lopsided recovery. Wages are down, employment is still below pre-recession levels, and poverty remains high. The job growth we have seen remains clustered around metropolitan areas like Charlotte and Raleigh, leaving behind huge parts of the state.
As The Budget and Tax Center observes, while North Carolinians are working hard than ever and productivity is increasing, those workers aren’t sharing in the prosperity:
"We’ve heard a lot of positive news about the economy growing at a healthy pace. The stock market is up and financial experts are generally bullish about the prospects for continued expansion. However, the usual measure that is used to track economic growth, gross domestic product, does not really tell us anything about how much workers share in the prosperity that they are creating. By that measure, the economic growth of the last several years has not done much to boost wages and salaries in North Carolina. The sad truth, and one that will come as no surprise to many North Carolinians, is that wages and salaries have been remarkably flat for the last seven years. Once inflation is taken into account, North Carolina workers’ income has actually declined slightly over the last seven years...the total value of goods and services sold by North Carolina companies has grown by more than 18% since 2007. Wages and salaries however have actually lost ground over the same period. North Carolina workers are still doing their part to support economic growth, but they are increasingly left out of the prosperity that their toils create."
Click here to read the full report.