NC’s Economic Recovery From the Pandemic Isn’t Universal

The economic recovery is not the same for all people. Racial gaps in the unemployment rate in NC persist, according to a new state analysis. (Shutterstock)

By Staff Reports

June 6, 2022

A new analysis in North Carolina shows there’s still a significant difference in the unemployment rate for Black and white North Carolinians.

The state’s economic recovery from the pandemic is not universal.

The overall unemployment rate in North Carolina is 3.7%, through the first quarter of 2022,  just below the national average. But while things have gotten better across the state for all demographics, the unemployment rate for Black North Carolinians has rebounded much slower. 

Graphic for Cardinal & Pine by Desiree Tapia

This disparity is not new. 

It can be attributed, the non-partisan NC Budget and Tax Center says, to several reasons, including a longstanding lack of access to training, affordable child care and reliable transportation, all the things needed to be able to find a new job. 

The pandemic simply added fuel to already burning fires. 

North Carolina’s unemployment system is among the most cumbersome, and stingy, in the United States.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly has capped payments at 12 weeks, tied for the shortest duration in the country. 


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