About a year ago, we reported that North Carolina was at the “top of the heap,” when it came to being home to one of the ten best cities to find jobs. Despite the fact that millions of struggling Americans were still working hard to find employment, economists were heartened about prospects for growth in 2012 as industries increasingly reported better profits and adding new jobs. As a result, back then, cities like Durham, N.C., which had rebounded with more jobs post-recession based on gains in the tech industries, looked like beacons of hope for a new economic recovery. But now we’re forced to fast-forward to 2011, and Friday’s news that the United States failed to add any jobs in August. And with that news, you’ll find that last year’s optimism has been traded in for this year’s cause for concern, as the American economy, now more than ever, is years away from returning to pre-recessionary employment levels, leaving some states, like North Carolina—a state that seemed to have so much employment potential in 2010—with even farther ago. You might be asking: well, if we didn’t actually lose jobs in August, what’s the big deal? But according to the Brookings Institute's Hamilton Project, no job growth creates deficits in employment as the country now finds it needs to create 12.4 million total jobs in order to keep up with the influx of new workers (like recent graduates), and return employment back to pre-recession levels. If you’re keeping count that means the U.S. should have added 180,000 more jobs just last month than it actually did, with that expectation increasing even further as the population continues to grow. As The Huffington Post reported, “Certain states dependent on hard-hit industries such as construction will have to generate even more jobs to get back to the pre-recession days. California, for example, was largely intertwined with the manufacturing and construction sectors, and is not coincidentally the state with the largest jobs gap. Currently, the Golden State needs almost 2 million jobs to get back to pre-recession levels of employment. Compare that to North Dakota, the state with smallest jobs gap, which needs only 7,000….The Hamilton Project estimates that it would take twelve and a half years to reach pre-recession employment levels assuming the country started creating jobs at the same rate during the best job-growth years of the 2000s. In other words, this problem will be with the country from some time yet.” This is especially bad news for places like North Carolina, which made The Hamilton Project’s top ten list of states facing the biggest gaps in jobs: 10. Ohio 9. Pennsylvania 8. Michigan 7. North Carolina* 6. Texas 5. Illinois 4. New York 3. Georgia 2. Florida 1. California *According to The Brookings Institute, as of July 2011, the state of North Carolina will need to generate 487,685 additional jobs in order to keep up with growing population numbers and old and new workers flooding the Tar Heel market in future months and years. While this is about a quarter of the jobs that #1 on the list California needs to “fill the gaps” (1,921,262), it’s still remains a daunting task for a southern state facing a continuing economic malaise with no end in sight. Are you one of the hundreds of thousands of North Carolina workers who have “fallen into the unemployment gap?” Are you looking for ways to stay current on your bills and avoid economic disaster? In tough times, why not turn to something that is definitive: a smart move to a better financial future through bankruptcy. If you have been affected by the economy and are wondering how to get back on track, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can also help you to conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond our own “Great Recession.” The bankruptcy professionals at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.