North Carolina has logged no net job growth in the last 12 years, having fewer jobs at the end of 2011 than it did in December 1999, according to a report released today by the South by North Strategies research firm.
In that same period of time, the population grew by more than 21 percent.
The research firm, which specializes in economic and social policy, said in the report that the employment-to-population ratio is at its lowest level since 1976 as the state's growth outpaces the number of jobs it's bringing in.
All evidence points to a sluggish recovery in 2012, making it the fifth consecutive year of negative or minimal job growth in the state, said John Quinterno, and analyst for the firm, in the report.
"Many factors could weigh on the state's economy in 2012, and absent robust job growth, joblessness and the associated hardships will remain widespread," he said in the report.
The most telling indicator of these hardships, the report states, is the size of the state's food stamp case load (now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
Between December 2010 and October 2011, the most recent month with data, the number of residents participating in the program grew by 7 percent.
Nearly 18 percent of the state’s residents were connected to the food assistance program in October 2011.
You can read the rest of the report here.