N.C. unemployment surges to 6.9% – highest since 2002

Posted September 19, 2008

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— Unemployment in North Carolina jumped to 6.9 percent in August, the highest rate since 2002, the state Employment Security Commission reported Thursday.

A slowing economy led to a drop in employment of more than 45,000 jobs with many students returning to school.

However, the number of people out of work and seeking jobs climbed by 9,999 to a record 314,729.

The troubled financing and banking sectors, which is heavily based in Charlotte as well as across the Triangle, shed 4,400 jobs in August, the ESC said.

The jobless rate, which has increased for eight consecutive months, was 6.6 percent in July. A year ago, the rate stood at 4.7 percent.

The 6.9 percent rate is the highest since January 2002 during the last recession when it hit 7 percent.

“While some of the employment loss can be attributed to students returning to school, we know the decline in the national economy is having an impact on North Carolina’s employment picture,” ESC Chairman Harry Payne said in a statement. “We are experiencing a very tight job market and we have a lot of job seekers. While job orders have varied depending on the location around the state, we are still hearing from employers who need workers.”

The job picture is likely to worsen, according to North Carolina State University economist Michael Walden.

“The unemployment rate will go higher - over 7 percent is now assured - for two reasons,” Walden told “First, the economy is still not "out of the woods" - so employers will make further cuts in coming months. Second, even when the economy improves, employers are slow to add workers, which also puts upward pressure on unemployment. I now don't see a peak in unemployment until a year from now.”


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  • fatchanceimwrong Sep 19, 2008

    I work for a bank the hispanics have been cashing their paychecks all day.

  • shep8851 Sep 19, 2008

    Does anyone here see a correlation between the number of unemployed Americans and the number of illegal aliens??? Get rid of the illegals, and the unemployment rate will go down--quickly.

  • TUAlpha93 Sep 19, 2008

    Tax Man, I do agree with you on starting your own company. That's the best path to wealth. Yet, that path isn't for everyone and we still need a plan that's "fair" to people who decide to work for someone else. I do agree with "Rich Dad/Poor Dad" though that it's not the responsibility of your employer to make you wealthy but wages should keep up with inflation if your company is doing well.

  • turdferguson Sep 19, 2008

    TUAlpha - Because the friend I mentioned works for the Government, he can only employ legal US citizens. As a result, his workforce is mostly almost 100% white males. I agree that low wage illegal workers are a huge problem in the private construction industry, but take them out of the equation and you can't find adequate workers.

  • TUAlpha93 Sep 19, 2008

    "So, TUAlpha, do you think Congress/Pres Clinton in the 90s mandating that lenders relax their requirements for giving out loans didn't contribute (cause) the mess we're in? Funding a war is a drop in the bucket compared to that." - Congress from 1994 was a Republican lead Congress with your boy Newt leading the charge. Yes, it did contribute to the mess but the Bush Administration of "the POTUS has Executive Authority to do all" tipped it over the edge. Add to that excessive debt from borrowiing money from China to fund a bogus war and you have the makings of an economic meltdown. As for free markets, there are no real free markets anywhere in the world so you have nothing to base a true free market on just as there are no 100% democracies and 100% capitalist societies. We come the closest but it's more of an ideal than reality.

  • ljcs357 Sep 19, 2008

    didn't they just have another article last month saying the complete opposite?.....which one is it wral? Let's stay consistent.

  • trunkmonkee1971 Sep 19, 2008

    Way to much anxiety ovwer this stuff. breathe folks, breathe.....

  • CLR Sep 19, 2008

    Tax Man that is exactly what I want to do. I checked out a couple of books and am ready to return them and get some more.

  • Tax Man Sep 19, 2008

    The best way to beat this problem is to start your own company and do the type of work you like. You control your wages, your hours and don't have to worry about getting laid off or office politics. Just think seriously about what you really would like to do, then see how you can create a company and do it!

    I have clients who worked as photographers at near minimum wages - now they do their own (especially weddings) and make well over $100k a year! I have electricians that worked for local companies and got laid off all the time - they formed their own company and have to subcontract out most of the work because there is so much available! And they make lots more money than when they were employees.
    Self employed people and illegal aliens are not part of the unemployment statistics - if you can't find a job, create your own! Then I can show you the legal ways to pay very little taxes! The library has tons of books on starting a business. Go check it out.

  • CLR Sep 19, 2008

    Turdf: I applied at Grocery stores and all kinds of jobs not just bookkeeping which is what I do. Every help wanted sign gets lots of applicants and I've even been told I'm overqualified on some occasions.

    I did even work at Smithfields for a short time until something better came along. The hours and wage was barely enough to even pay one bill with or a few groceries, but I did the work.
    I don't know if I could handle manual labor.