Natalie Bell- welder

Help wanted: Women needed for U.S. chips manufacturing plan to succeed

BY: - March 25, 2023

Natalie Bell was thinking about a career in art after college when a welding class and a delivery of four pizzas changed her career trajectory.  “I was taking a delivery out to a construction site and I met an ironworker who I was taking the delivery to,” said Bell, who lives in Columbus, Ohio. “I […]

Photo from flickr user familymwr (, (CC BY 2.0,

Inflation: some facts you should know, and some steps policymakers should take

BY: - April 21, 2022

An economist explains why investments in childcare and eldercare could aid the U.S. economy Inflation is by far the biggest economic concern facing the U.S. economy today. While job growth is historically rapid and survey evidence indicates that workers think now is the best time in years to find a good job, the inflation surge has kept this labor market strength from translating into higher wages and incomes for most households.

Making the simple impossible: We don’t want to admit the real worker shortage problem

BY: - February 24, 2022

A week ago, I was talking to an educator whose job it is to run training programs for students and adults in higher education. She told me that around a dozen different companies and groups were sponsoring training courses for things like nursing assistants, medical workers, electricians and truck driving.

State Superintendent Catherine Truitt: North Carolina must fix ‘diploma integrity problem,’ reframe education

BY: - February 3, 2022

North Carolina has a “diploma integrity problem” that mirrors that of other states,” State Superintendent Catherine Truitt told State Board of Education (SBE) colleagues Thursday. Truitt’s comments came during the SBE’s monthly business meeting. It was made in response to a question by State Treasurer Dale Folwell about the state’s low academic proficiency rates and […]


New report: How to make youth apprenticeships work and boost NC’s economy

BY: - July 22, 2019

Youth apprenticeships are increasingly seen as a promising solution to a broken workforce development pipeline that too often fails to connect working people—especially young adults and people of color—to the training and the jobs they need. But to truly live up to their promise, apprenticeship programs for youth and young adults must be made more […]

Bad “Workforce Development Week” news: Trump administration order threatens quality apprenticeships for NC workers

BY: - June 16, 2017

The Trump administration is closing out national “Workforce Development Week” with an executive order that undermines quality apprenticeships across the country. Apprenticeships are a growing workforce development strategy that combine education and paid on-the-job training in specialized trades. The Obama administration committed to growing a skilled workforce by investing $265 million in apprenticeship programs with […]

Prosperity Watch: Unemployment rate by race shows barriers to employment for all persist

BY: - November 6, 2014

This week’s Prosperity Watch uses newly available data from the Economic Policy Institute to shed light on the experience of unemployment for different groups in North Carolina.  While the state performs better than the nation by having a lower barrier to employment for African-American and Latino workers in particular, the unemployment rate for these groups […]


Expert explains huge masked problem with NC economy

BY: - October 27, 2014

In case you missed it over the weekend, Patrick Conway, the head of the economics Department at UNC Chapel Hill had an important op-ed in Raleigh’s News & Observer about the true state of the North Carolina economy. As Conway explains, the recent rosy claims of state officials and their apologists in the right-wing think […]

Prosperity Watch: Low-income students and the future of North Carolina economic competitiveness

BY: - October 30, 2013

As North Carolina continues to recover from the Great Recession, growing more good-paying jobs in the state will require a skilled and educated workforce. As BTC analyst Cedric Johnson writes in the latest issue of Prosperity Watch, an increasing number of jobs are expected to require some level of postsecondary training, and meeting this workforce demand […]

Interesting stats on part-time workers

BY: - November 21, 2012

John Schmitt and Milla Sanes have an interesting post on the Center for Economic and Policy Research blog that debunks a bit of common wisdom about the long-term growth in inequality. Their data show that, overall, the percentage of the workforce working part-time has remained basically stable at around 20% or so. “Over the last three […]

The State of Working North Carolina: Policy Options for Addressing the Jobs Crisis

BY: - September 4, 2012

As shown in the recent report on the State of Working North Carolina, many families and workers across the state lost ground during the 2000s.  During this “lost decade,” workers experienced stagnant or falling wage growth, anemic job growth in the recovery from the 2001 recession, and the catastrophic job losses of the Great Recession […]

An economy built to last: Obama budget creates job training fund

BY: - March 7, 2012

This blog post is one in a series detailing President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2013. In his recently proposed budget for 2013, President Obama reiterated his call for a national commitment to creating an economy “built to last,” an economy capable of providing workers and their families with the opportunity to secure the […]