The general economy and the job market have been improving very modestly in North Carolina. What kind of jobs have recently been created? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.
“Something very interesting … is going on in North Carolina. It is also going on in the nation, but more so here in North Carolina. We’ve actually added jobs over the last year. So that is good. But we’ve added at both the upper end and the lower end — that is to say that North Carolina is actually creating jobs at a faster rate among the highest paying jobs.
“These would be jobs in finance, information and professional jobs. The percentage of jobs there has gone up faster in North Carolina than in the nation. We are also, however, creating jobs at a faster rate among the lower paying jobs. These would be clerical jobs and lower paying service jobs. And we are not creating jobs as fast in the middle.
“I like to call this the dumbbell economy, where we are creating jobs at both ends — sort of like the ends of a dumbbell — but not much in the middle.
“This has a lot of implications for North Carolina. Number one, it means if you do have education and training there’s good chances you’ll get a good paying job. If you don’t, you are going to have a lower paying job.
“It also obviously has implications for increasing income inequality in the state.”