You don’t have to tell North Carolina’s unemployed workers how bad the recession has been, but now we have some evidence from the federal government to confirm this. N.C. Cooperative Extension economist explains what the numbers show.
“The new numbers we have — and, of course, these do come out with a lag — show the change in what we call gross state product — that is the broadest measure of any state’s economy — for 2009, which is when the brunt of the recession hit. And what it shows is that North Carolina, unfortunately, was in the top group of states with the largest decline during 2009 in our gross state product. In fact, our gross state product during that year declined 3.2 percent. That’s a big number. It was exceeded only by Florida, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada. So we had a big drop. I think that is the main reason we had a bigger than average rise in our unemployment rate in the state.
“Now you can also look at the numbers and say, ‘Well, what were the best states in the country to ride out the recession in 2009? What states either had a modest decline or, in fact, an increase in their gross state product? Those states were Oklahoma, Wyoming and North Dakota.”