Category Archives: Economics

Falling unemployment rate masks troubled NC economy

Why We Worry / Raleigh-Durham Bureau In remarks at the end of his first year in office — the first year of the Republican supermajority in Raleigh — Gov. Pat McCrory cited the state’s tumbling employment rate (down 2.1% for the year) as proof that his policies are improving the NC economy. “At times we had to […]

NC employment falls in 2013

Why We Worry / Raleigh-Durham Bureau Since Governor Pat McCrory took office in January, the unemployment rate in North Carolina has dropped from 9.5% to 8.0%. Though still a far cry from the 5% rate in January 2008,  the drop suggests a significant improvement in the job market. In a speech earlier this week, McCrory […]

Highlights from Gov McCrory’s NC budget

Why We Worry / Raleigh-Durham Bureau Governor Pat McCrory (R—NC) released his first budget proposal this morning, outlining spending recommendations for 2014 and 2015. Left-leaning North Carolinians braced themselves for the announcement, fearful of the influence of McCrory’s budget director, the ultra-conservative Art Pope. The good news is the news isn’t all bad. The budget calls […]

The death of newspapers (as we knew them)

Why We Worry / Media Desk We all know that newspapers are struggling; still, reading the data behind the decline is shocking, and looking at the charts is frightening. Newspapers as an industry have posted advertising losses for 25 consecutive quarters. The readership now prefers the Internet, so papers publish extensively online. While content translates well […]

How Sequester cuts would impact North Carolina

Why We Worry / Raleigh-Durham Bureau The Sequester cuts may be small relative to the overall national budget, but if Congress does not prevent them, they will be coming in the context of prolonged economic stagnation, as well as recent significant cuts and severe budget shortfalls on the state level. For North Carolina, new cuts […]

Naming the crisis

Why We Worry / Economics Desk It’s incomplete to call what we’re experiencing in the US an “unemployment” crisis. The problem is not just that there aren’t enough jobs available but that the existing jobs are low quality. New jobs put the unemployed to work, but these jobs are being created in a climate where […]

The next bubble: student loan debt

Students graduating college last year owed a record amount in loans. Compared to five years ago, borrowing has increased 20% to an average bill of $25,250. The rise in borrowing is unsurprising considering that, while American wages have generally stagnated, tuition has swelled. For instance, under the most optimistic projection, the University of California system […]

Class warfare

Republicans put their heads together and decided the biggest problem facing America is … … Drumroll please … Rich people don’t have enough money!: The [the House Republican budget] plan would condemn millions to the ranks of the uninsured, raise health costs for seniors and renege on the obligation to keep poor children fed. It […]

Why the rich have all the money and pay lower taxes than ever

From Robert Reich: The American economy is more than twice as large now as it was thirty years ago. So where did the money go? To the top. The richest 1 percent’s share of national has doubled – from around 9 percent in 1977 to over 20 percent now. The richest one-tenth of 1 percent’s […]

The boning, Pt. 2

The Washington Post (via John Cole): The 401(k) generation is beginning to retire, and it isn’t a pretty sight. The retirement savings plans that many baby boomers thought would see them through old age are falling short in many cases. The median household headed by a person aged 60 to 62 with a 401(k) account […]