US Poverty Rate
- All: 14.3%*
- Below 150% of poverty: 23.6*
Poverty by Race in North Carolina
- All: 16.9%*
- White: 10.3%
- African American: 25.1%
- Hispanic: 27.1%
- Native American: 24.2%
- Asian: 11.2%
Child Poverty in North Carolina
- All under 18: 24.5*
- Deep poverty: 8.6%
- Male-headed households: 24%
- Female-headed households: 46.3%
Poverty by Educational Attainment in North Carolina
- No high school diploma: 25.8%
- High school diploma: 12.9%
- Some college or associate degree: 8.6%
- Bachelor degree or higher: 3.3%
- Percent of households that experienced "food insecurity": 14.6%
- 49.1 million people lived in food insecure households
- Rate of food insecurity in households with children headed by women: 37.2%
- Rate of food insecurity for households below poverty: 42.2%
- Percent of households in North Carolina that experienced food insecurity: 13.7% (9th highest in country)
*2009 Current Population Survey, released Sept. 16, 2010
The unemployment rate in North Carolina remains a model of consistency, though not in a good way. In February 2010, seasonally adjusted unemployment edged up just a hair to 11.2%, up from 11.1% in January. The state's unemployment rate settled in at 10.9% last May and has spent the intervening months hovering around 11%.
North Carolina was one of fourteen states that had an unemployment rate above the national average of 9.7%. Michigan was highest at 14.1%, followed by Nevada, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina and Florida.
In 2009, North Carolina's average underemployment rate (which counts workers who are discouraged, marginally attached to the workforce or working part-time when they want a full-time job) was 17.7%.
The unemployment situation within North Carolina varies greatly depending on the county. In January 2010, fourteen counties had an unemployment rate above 15%; nine counties (Anson, Caldwell, Cherokee, Dare, Edgecombe, Graham, Rutherford, Scotland, Swain) had rates above 17%. Graham--with an unemployment rate over 19%--had the highest percentage of unemployed workers. Orange, at 6.9%, had the lowest.
It's important to keep in mind however that while a high unemployment rate can be devastating, especially to rural counties and communities with a small population, many urban counties with comparatively low unemployment rates actually have a higher number of unemployed individuals. For example, in January, Mecklenburg County's unemployment rate was 11.7%, but that rate encompassed over 53,000 people. Wake's unemployment rate of 9.2% is one of the lower in the state, but over 40,000 people are unemployed there.
For more information on unemployment in North Carolina, visit the Workforce Information page of the NC Employment Security Commission or the Bureau of Labor Statistics overview page on unemployment.