Bouncing Back: North Carolina's Economic Journey to Recovery

COVID-19 has stalled much of North Carolina’s complex economy. With it, families have been pushed to the brink. Businesses, hospitals, and local governments brace for more uncertain months ahead.

North Carolina News Collaborative, a coalition of 22 daily newspapers, will examine the nuances of each community’s climb back. We will tell these stories across all 100 counties, from the mountains to the sea and all the red, blue and purple communities in between. We’ll tell stories from the prosperous urban centers and the beleaguered rural areas.

Data and surveys will drive us to these crossroads and living rooms. We’ll tell the stories of the depleted coffers of county governments and the fragile hospitals struggling for solvency. We’ll assess the health of vulnerable populations: single mothers, undocumented workers, and children without broadband internet access. We’ll look for winners, too: the businesses that found a niche as other shuttered.

We will work with economists, sociologists, and health and labor experts to develop a methodology for gauging and predicting a recovery in counties across the state.

'It Was an Inconvenience, but It Was Also Devastating,' Greensboro Mom Says. Pandemic Worsens NC's Child Care Shortage.

Despite millions of dollars in public relief to child care centers, more than 1,500 North Carolina programs — one in four — remain closed, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services. Others now operate at reduced capacity. This shortage arrives at a moment when many parents — eager to return to work as their unemployment benefits run out — desperately search for placements.