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'Shocking': North Carolina unemployment hits 8.7%

Posted January 23, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Unemployment in North Carolina climbed to 8.7 percent in December, the highest jobless rate since June 1983, when the rate hit 9 percent.

“Shocking and sobering is the way I would describe today’s news,” North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden said.

Mike Walden Economist: Unemployment will continue to rise

As the grip of the global slowdown tightened on the N.C. economy, unemployment increased by more than 38,000 last month, according to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.

Nearly 400,000 North Carolinians were unemployed but seeking work, which is a record number, the ESC said. The number of unemployed has jumped by 185,000 in the past year, according to the agency.

Walden warned that more bad news is on the way.

“The worst isn't here yet,” he said. “We will hit 10 percent unemployment this year. This recession is shaping up to be the worst in the post-World War II period.”

The December jobless rate was nearly a full percentage point above the 7.8 percent rate in November. Since September, the unemployment rate has climbed nearly two percentage points.

In January 2008, the jobless rate stood at 4.9 percent.

The national jobless rate in December was 7.2 percent.

“Layoffs continue to hamper many job sectors throughout the state,” ESC Chairman Moses Carey Jr. said.

The hardest-hit sectors are retail and professional services associated with development, such as landscapers, lawyers and accountants who work closely with construction, officials said.

After reviewing the jobs data and noting North Carolina’s projected $2 billion deficit for the current fiscal year, Walden saw a couple of glimmers of hope.

“The only bright side I can see (is that) health care jobs continue to increase, and North Carolina's budget hole, on a relative basis, isn't as big as in many other states," Walden said.

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  • BIGDAWGShouse Jan 23, 2009

    I made 32% percent more under Bush then Clinton. That equals to about 4% per year...under clinton I lost money

  • Pineview Style Jan 23, 2009

    “Shocking and sobering is the way I would describe today’s news,” North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden said.

    Shocking, eh? I would expect this statement from acedemia. If you are shocked, then where have you been. It seems like people were screaming "recession" back in late '07. We knew this economic downturn was going to happen....

  • Scubagirl Jan 23, 2009

    "The economy has been going down hill since Obama's election on November 4, 2008. ncken1"

    Trust me, the economy has been going down hill since way BEFORE Obama's election. You certainly cannot blame this on him!

  • Worland Jan 23, 2009

    Yesterday, a friend asked me if I felt "Safer" today than I did last week. You know... I don't feel as "Safe" under Obama as I did under GW. In fact, I felt much safer under Clinton than I do today.

  • Quagmire Jan 23, 2009

    lease explain how spending billions of dollars on abortions in Africa is a wise use of the taxpayers money.
    Ripcord

    No money will be spend directly on abortions.

  • Quagmire Jan 23, 2009

    Actually, I made a lot of money in investments when Bush was president. And if you think Bush was bad you're in for a big surprise.
    Ripcor

    I made more when Clinton was President.

  • ncken1 Jan 23, 2009

    The economy has been going down hill since Obama's election on November 4, 2008. The poor ecoonomy, including the decreased value of the stock market, is merely a reflection of how business perceives the future under Obama. It has been coined the "Obama Crash"....more to come.

  • 5Rs Jan 23, 2009

    It took 15 years for the economy to recover after the 1929 and subsequent years crash, and it took WWII to do it. After the 1970 crash, it took 20 years for the markets to hit new highs. The Obama Depression is in the same category. Yes, it was Obama and the Democrats who said the sky is falling enough times that finally we believed them and the market crashed. And when Obama became the choice the economy continued to tank because of his pronouncements like "we will increase taxes on corps and capital gains" and many more. Now it turns out his "stimulus package" is the biggest bunch of fat known to man that will do the economy no good. There is no confidence in the economy and Obama. Hard to be optimistic.

  • Ripcord Jan 23, 2009

    "Obama is reversing the ban on abortion funding overseas. So he is funding it. If anything his first few steps in office show how greatly he is turning around the ill-fated decisions of our last president."

    Please explain how spending billions of dollars on abortions in Africa is a wise use of the taxpayers money.

  • Ripcord Jan 23, 2009

    "Yeah the last 8 years were so good, wish we had Bush back."

    Actually, I made a lot of money in investments when Bush was president. And if you think Bush was bad you're in for a big surprise.

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