To the editor:
I take issue with the premise of Rob Schofield’s recent polemic [“The 2017 budget promises nothing but more distress…”]. There are good reasons “hardly a day goes by anymore” without Governor McCrory and other state leaders releasing news of the state’s economic turnaround.
The Carolina Comeback is quite real, and it’s backed up by data the federal government tracks and publishes.
Take this week’s jobs numbers, which show that April unemployment rates in 94 of the state’s 100 counties were below year-ago levels. Federal data also finds that North Carolina is one of only seven U.S. states now in the top third of the nation in terms of growth in jobs, per-capita incomes and GDP.
Since January 2013, the state has added over 280,000 private-sector jobs – earning North Carolina a #6 ranking among the 50 states for net private-sector job generation.
Moreover, sound fiscal management since 2013 has protected the state’s exemplary bond rating while creating a projected $330 million surplus for the current budget year.
When combined with the strategic investments we’re now making in rural infrastructure, multi-modal transportation improvements, STEM instructional facilities at our colleges and universities, workforce innovation and other key areas, the stage is now being set for an era of sustained economic renewal that all North Carolina communities can enjoy.
John E. Skvarla, III
Secretary of Commerce