12.29.2009 In the News, Policy Points

NC’s Economy: 2009 in Review

In a recent cover story, The Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times reviewed the economic trends that buffeted North Carolina, especially its western region, during 2009 and asked what 2010 might hold for businesses, individuals, and communities. Along with other experts, the piece featured the perspective of South by North Strategies’  John Quinterno.

Said the article about the strength of an economic recovery:

“Unfortunately, although there have been signs of improvement in the economy, no one can say with complete confidence just when the bad times will end — or what the ‘new normal’ on the other side of the recession will be.

‘Talk of an economic recovery is exaggerated,’ said John Quinterno, head of South by North Strategies, an economic research and communications firm based in Chapel Hill. ‘I do think conditions are better than they were six months ago or a year ago. That’s not really saying much.’

And said the article about the current state of the labor market:

The figures understate the ills in the local job market as some people are not counted as unemployed because they have simply given up looking for work.

They also don’t reveal the psychological impact joblessness has on people in a culture in which, according to Quinterno, people tend to view being unemployed as the fault of an individual rather than reflective of problems in the economy as a whole.

Being without work ‘goes to people’s self-worth and dignity,” Quinterno said. ‘It’s nonmonetary, but it has a huge, devastating impact on people.’

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