Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Public Life at the UNC J-School, gave me a stunning statistic from a report he worked on. It sums up how suddenly and dramatically the 2008 economic crisis hit North Carolina:
“From April, 2008 to February, 2009 (a ten-month period), the state unemployment rate rose from 5 percent to 11.2 percent. This represents one of the most rapidly rising unemployment rates in the nation.”
Look at it this way: Roughly between when Bev Perdue won the 2008 Democratic primary and when she was sworn in, our unemployment rate doubled.
The bottom literally dropped out.
It focuses on the state’s economic progress and problems, including the “daunting challenge” of poverty and unemployment in pockets among many areas and populations.