The N&O published my letter to the editor over the weekend, regarding misleading data points the editors used to surmise the impact of recent tax reforms:
Regarding the April 27 editorial “ Jobs and taxes”: In an attempt to deny any economic benefit from last year’s tax reforms, you rest your case on two data points. Both are misleading.First, the editorial cited the job growth rate from March 2013 to March 2014 as being no better than recent years. That timeline, however, is irrelevant because the major tax reform laws passed during last year’s legislative session didn’t become effective until January. How does the N&O blame job trends including nine months of 2013 on changes not effective until 2014?
Second, the article attributes North Carolina’s drop in the unemployment rate during 2013 to a shrinking labor force due to “draconian” reforms to the state’s unemployment insurance program. This, too, is a curious charge because these reforms didn’t take effect until July 2013.
The appropriate question is: What has happened to the labor market since then? A study released last month by the University of Oslo evaluated Household Survey data and concluded the implementations of the reforms were followed by “a strong increase in the labor force.”
Drawing conclusions from data outside of the timeline in which tax reforms actually took effect paints a false narrative.