It needs to be acknowledged at the very outset of this column that there is, of course, no way that a middle-aged white man of substantial privilege can ever really understand what it’s like to be a person of color in the 21st century United States, much less presume to speak to that reality with any authority.
RALEIGH — North Carolina employers shed 616,000 jobs in March and April, according to the latest establishment survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a decline of 13% in just two months. Our labor-market collapse will look even worse when BLS releases its May survey in a few weeks.
Public schools are supposed to begin the new year about 75 days from now, so I asked two teachers what to expect. “I have no idea,” one said. “I’m exhausted just trying to get this year finished. It’s been especially hard this year.” The other added, “So far as next year, if there’s a plan we don’t know it. I can’t even get back into my classroom.”
RALEIGH — Over the first two months of the coronavirus crisis, our labor-market cratered. The number of employed North Carolinians dropped by 820,000, or 17%. Only 56.3% of working-aged residents were either employed or actively looking for jobs. That’s the lowest rate of labor force participation in modern times.