Statement from Bill Rowe, Director of Advocacy, NC Justice Center
As North Carolina reflects on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., it is clear that there is a long way to go to ensure greater opportunities for all workers in the economy. African-Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to experience unemployment in 2010.
High unemployment, long-term unemployment and fewer job prospects in communities of color have discouraged many workers of colors and pushed them out of the labor force. And in a more direct way, the decline in public sector employment has disproportionately impacted workers of color and threatened middle-class status for many.
For the state’s future prosperity, it is critical that North Carolina’s state and federal policymakers recommit to investing in proven job creation strategies and building a strong unemployment insurance system that supports families and local businesses during hard times.
The NC Justice Center will continue its efforts in urging federal policymakers to extend the emergency and federally funded provision of unemployment insurance through at least 2012. Visit www.tarheelworkers.org for more information about the center's campaign.