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Missing Rungs in the North Carolina Labor Market

by Michael Polzella

The good news is that North Carolina’s economy has been adding jobs to the market. Indeed, job growth in the state has been one-third faster than all other states in the nation since 2001.

The bad news is this job growth has been happening on both ends of the pay spectrum. My analysis indicates that both high-paying jobs and low-paying jobs have increased by about one-fourth since 2001. But, the number of middle-paying jobs has fallen 6% during the same time period.

So, we are losing the middle rungs in the job market. Not good!

Michael L. Walden, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University

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