National outlets highlight troubling local economic statistics

A pair of recent interactive info-graphics published by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal highlight troublesome economic statistics for Buncombe County.

About 22 percent of Buncombe men in their prime working years (considered to be between the ages of 25 and 54) don’t have jobs, according to the New York Times. That compares to 16 percent of men nationally, which is about triple what it was in 1968.

Most counties in Western North Carolina have a higher percentage of men out of the work force than the national average. Swain County tops the list, with 34 percent of male residents between 25 and 54 years old out of work, according to the Times.

Last week a report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce showed Asheville has the lowest unemployment rate of any metropolitan area in North Carolina, but that doesn’t take into account people who are not actively looking for jobs.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Buncombe County is among a third of all counties in the U.S. that have seen wages decline over the last nine years when taking into account inflation. Buncombe’s average annual pay in 2004 was $37,906 compared to $37,423 in 2013 — a drop of 1.3 percent, according to the Journal. Pay in most other WNC counties also dropped.


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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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15 thoughts on “National outlets highlight troubling local economic statistics

  1. Jim

    This is America dude, where we lie for politics. Feminism is not about equality. It’s about the complete destruction of men with the help of the government. Coupled with political objectives to kill industry, piss poor education tactics that underserve men, and an all out war against men, you end up with a nation of lost men. Shame on this scam country.

      • Jim

        Stats don’t lie. Another thing, did you see the report that says most of the job growth for the past several years has gone to illegals? So in the USA, what we’re witnessing now is the upper echelon is still male dominated, the middle is now female with, and the lower tier is going to illegals. Say, if the men in this nation are getting squeezed out and starved out, what do you suppose will happen? Black market, selling drugs, unreported income to name a few? More jails to house them? More homelessness?

        Continue to ignore or ridicule these things but one day it will resolve itself. And not it a positive way whatsoever. Continue to lie but they’re going to catch up.

        • bsummers

          So what’s your solution? Foot binding? Repeal the 19th Amendment?

          All the ills you talk about are a result of the downward pressure generally on wages, and the resulting wealth inequality. Blaming high unemployment of one demographic on women or immigrants is just playing into the “Blame the person next to you for why you’re not rich” downward competitive spiral that we’re all subject to.

          You want to address the real reasons working people are fighting amongst ourselves, look at why wealth is concentrated at the top at a scale unseen since the beginning of the Great Depression. The next Great Recession or Depression will come because Congress just gave the banks free reign to gamble with our money, again, in an amendment actually written by Citigroup. It’s tax, regulatory, and trade policy that’s crushing the middle class – not the fact that the person who got that job you wanted has brown skin or is the wrong gender.

          Or, you can ignore all that, and keep dancing for quatloos…

          • Jim

            No nothing of supply and demand? Allowing more people in, and illegally as well who have no business being here, is a huge reason for low wages. Women are being subsidized in college and jobs are geared more so to them now. 20 something single women outearn men. You cannot have a nation where increasingly the native born men are displaced by illegals and women with either culling them in jails or worse, killing them off altogether.

            Again, if you continue to push men out of jobs and society, you’re going to end up with more jails, more homelessness, and eventually a backlash. Politicians who are in favor of illegals entering, working, or even being subsidized in this country are not only ignoring the Constitution but are in fact traitors to the US citizens and especially the unemployed or underemployed men written about in this article. Those that hire illegals for low wages are the same. So when it all comes to a climax, and it will, what do you think is going to happen?

          • Jim

            You keep making this to be the issue of financial regulation yet refuse to acknowledge the political aspect of forcing loans onto people who could never pay them back was the doing of BOTH? crony parties. Then forcing the banks to take TARP money even if they didn’t want or need them. Or that Obama demanded and got two stimulus packages of over 700 bil for shovel ready infrastructure jobs that ended up as nothing more than payoffs. Hence now the ever increasing call for higher gas taxes that are needed of roads and bridges.

            The Ruble is starting to tank but the media doesn’t tell you that Russia has more gold backing their currency than the US. The Chinese economy is also starting to slow but again, they used their money to buy REAL assets. What’s backing the US dollar??? An entity outside of the government compromised of bankers who can create money out of thin air without anything real to back it up. That’s the problem with this nation.

    • Big Al

      Hey crybaby. “poor education tactics”?

      On any given year, more woman ATTEND college than men, but more men GRADUATE.

      Feel better now?

      You are welcome.

  2. Jah Bless

    did they take into account the number of men employed as graffiti artists?

    • Jim

      Illegals are making up the job growth in this nation according to stats. People like Bothwell, who are all for sanctuary cities for the illegals, are literally starving citizens of this nation out of existence.

      • bsummers

        Ridiculous. Find me 10 middle-aged white guys who will pick fruit for $5 an hour, and I’ll eat my hat. Blaming immigrants for our current dilemma is foolish.

        “People like Bothwell” aren’t starving anyone – it’s the tax and trade policies of the post-Reagan era that is sending all the wealth created by a highly-productive workforce up to the top at rates not seen since the Great Depression. You can’t deny that the super-wealthy who produce nothing are only getting wealthier while people like you & me are struggling. That’s the result of tax policy, not immigrants coming here doing jobs Americans don’t want to do.

        • Jim

          Wrong. Nafta is the reason companies like Square D shut their operations here and moved to drum roll please……………….MEXICO. WHO signed NAFTA??? Here’s a hint: it was signed in Dec of 1993.

          Mexico’s economy is growing at a steady 4% year over year. What you tout is nothing more than slave labor here by taking advantage of the lack of a social safety net in Mexico. If you are for people picking fruit for 5 dollars an hour, you are part of the problem.

          • bsummers

            Never said I was in favor of paying people $5 an hour for doing anything. My point is that immigrants, documented and not, are taking mostly low-wage jobs that most Americans won’t do for that pay. We should be paying living wages for any work, period – but guess what? That means the people at the top get less, so we won’t allow that, will we?

            And yes, NAFTA – as I said: trade policy. It was negotiated and signed first under George W. Bush in 1992,


            …and then signed again by Bill Clinton, after it was ratified by Congress (and since you clearly want to be partisan about it, it was a majority GOP vote in favor). NAFTA was a GOP initiative that Clinton was convinced to get behind by the Southern Democratic CEOs that put him in office. I know, because I used to work directly for one of them.

            Our trade policies are geared too heavily to guarantee profits to transnational corporations, and not working people. A big part of the wealth gap comes from valuing capital over labor. American productivity has been going up steadily for decades, while wages are stagnating or dropping. In other words, we work harder, and increasingly only the wealthy benefit.

            And yet for you, it’s the fact that women are competing with men for jobs that is the problem? Sadly missing the point.

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