NC economist says engage broader population including ex cons to reduce inflation

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Friday, January 13, 2023
NC economist says engage broader population including ex cons to reduce inflation
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While inflation is cooling, experts say more needs to be done to bring down prices.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- While inflation is cooling, experts say more needs to be done to bring down prices.

One of the ideas is to hire more people to get wages in check.

"We have to think about how to engage a broader group of people in the labor force," said Laura Ullrich, senior regional economist for North and South Carolina for the Federal Reserve of Richmond. "There are many people who have a criminal record who have worked hard to redeem themselves and thinking about how to engage them in real ways in the workforce makes a lot of sense."

Nasheila Haywood is very transparent about the mistakes she's made.

The Raleigh native and mom of two served more than six years for trafficking cocaine.

Before that she worked at a Durham bank as a loan supervisor but got laid off.

"I get a lot of doors slammed on my face because they're like 'Yeah why would we choose you no matter what mistakes you made, what education you have,'" Nasheila said. "I tell people a long time ago: I've changed. I haven't gotten into any trouble in a very long time."

Since though she's struggled to find gainful employment. She's gotten by and done what it takes to provide for her aging mother and kids Ayden and Taylar.

"I have to constantly hustle to make sure I have enough money to take care of my family to make sure we have everything we need," she said. "Given the right opportunity, I can show you what kind of asset I can be to any company that will hire me to do so."

Ullrich said there's a critical area jobs like nursing assistants and school bus drivers and there's a struggle to fill them in traditional ways.

"Most of people who left the labor force were over 65 so if that's the truth and that's what we're seeing in the data, then we have to think about how to engage people that weren't working before COVID," she said.

She believes this will be good for local businesses and it will help lower inflation because employers won't have to pay so much to hire people.