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Blacks add billions to NC economy
"All North Carolinians are impacted by African-American spending," said John Kasarda, one of the study’s authors.
It is an impact that is greater than just dollars and cents. For example, that $44.7 billion has created more than 435,000 spin-off jobs in the state.
"A lot of the spin-off jobs that occur in our economy are not necessarily low-wage jobs,” said Jim Johnson, the study’s other author. “In many instances, they're actually high-wage jobs."
But the study makes clear there is still work to be done.
By 2009, if the current rate of growth continues, the total economic impact of blacks spending in North Carolina could increase to $60 billion. The study found that state policymakers could help facilitate the growth. One way is by helping people who are being released from prison find jobs.
“We think the key is self-employment and entrepreneurship as an opportunity for many of the people being released,” Johnson said. “About 14,000 are being released every year."
The study also encourages the state to invest in education. The authors believe with education, the African-American population will continue its positive impact on North Carolina's economy.
According to the study, the state's black population is younger than the state's white population. The median age for blacks is 32; for whites, it is 39. All together, blacks make up 21.8 percent of North Carolina’s population