by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
North Carolina is ranked #12 in the nation on the ease of finding a job. The categories used in this finding were both labor market and occupational freedom. Luckily North Carolina is similar to neighboring states, as the Southeast is second to the Mid-West in freedom for finding a job. Neighboring states that have similar rankings are Alabama at #7, Georgia at #8, Virginia at #10, and Tennessee at #14. Guess that explains why there are so many people coming to NC from New England – New York and New Jersey are ranked #47 and #48 respectively in finding a job freedom.
According to the study:
Right-to-work laws make up more than half of the labor regulation category and nearly 2 percent of the entire freedom index. They are valued at over $10 billion a year. Other policy variables in this category, in descending order of importance, are short-term disability insurance requirements (costs being lower labor productivity and administrative expenses for businesses), policies dealing with workers’ compensation (funding mechanisms and mandated coverages), state minimum wage laws (figures adjusted for median private wages), requirements for employer verification of legal resident status, mandated paid family leave, and regulations prohibiting discrimination in employment (or employer-provided insurance) between smokers and non-smokers.