Asked what was the most important issue facing the state, North Carolinians overwhelmingly (53 percent) cited the economy. At 16 percent, education was a distant second.
Some small-business owners said they are holding on by their fingertips. Workers in the old economy such as textiles have seen their jobs disappear and are having to settle for work that pays a fraction of what they used to earn. Retirement plans are being delayed. And others, already living on the edge, find themselves pushed even further to the fringes.
— John Robinson