NC unemployment rate dips below 10 percent
Posted January 24, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's unemployment rate dipped below 10 percent in December, marking the first time in six months that the state's jobless rate was in single digits.
The state Division of Employment Security reported Tuesday that the unemployment rate statewide was 9.9 percent, down from 10 percent in November. The rate was last below 10 percent in June, when it also was 9.9 percent.
"Looking at the private sector over the year, we are seeing some moderate signs of improvement," Dale Carroll, deputy secretary of Employment Security, said in a statement.
Since December 2010, about 29,400 private-sector jobs have been added statewide, officials said. The leisure and hospitality industry accounted for 11,800 of the new jobs, while the trade, transportation and utilities sector accounted for 9,200 jobs and the education and health services sector another 7,000.
Meanwhile, the public sector shed 9,800 jobs statewide between December 2010 and December 2011.
The number of North Carolina residents counted as unemployed dropped by almost 5,200 in December, to 446,402. The number of employed people rose by more than 9,500, to more than 4.06 million.
The state unemployment rate continues to lag far behind the national rate, which was 8.5 percent in December.
The state paid $267.1 million in Unemployment Insurance benefits to claimants in November. Those payments include state and federally funded benefits.