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Economic Perspective: Florence’s Impact On Jobs

NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences professor Dr. Mike Walden working in a recording studio.


“Today’s program looks at Florence’s impact on jobs. Mike, we now have the initial state jobs report following the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence. Did North Carolina lose jobs, and will the impact be long lasting?”


“We did. This is the September jobs report. North Carolina lost 22,000 payroll jobs. South Carolina also lost jobs, 14,000. Now interestingly the unemployment rate in both states did not go up. In fact it went down. This is totally due to the way unemployment is measured; to be unemployed you have to be someone without a job, and you have to be someone who also in the last month has looked for work. Obviously with the devastation people who lost their jobs weren’t able to get out and look for work.”

“Fortunately this jump in unemployment will be short-lived. The fact is that our economy is still very, very robust. Rebuilding will take place, and we will have an economic recovery, and I think everything will eventually get back to some semblance of normalcy.”

“So I think that will exactly be the case here. I think the southeast and south-central parts of our state that really got hit hard by Florence, they will be rebuilt. I don’t think this says anything bad about those local economies, particularly in the Wilmington area which is one of our most thriving economies. This is totally due to the unfortunate circumstance of Florence coming through and choosing North and South Carolina as it’s route.”

Walden is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University who teaches and writes on personal finance, economic outlook and public policy.