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N.C. unemployment remains 11 percent, but nearly 13,000 jobs were lost

Posted August 21, 2009
Updated August 22, 2009

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— North Carolina’s unemployment rate appears to have stabilized with new figures showing the state’s jobless rate at 11 percent for July.

The jobless figure was 11.1 percent in May and 11 percent in June.

However, the July data from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission also shows that the number of people working dropped 12,997 to just over 4 million. That’s double the number of jobs lost between May and June.

The number of people seeking work also decreased in July. That drop of 4,853 to just under 497,000 helped offset the decrease in workers and kept the overall unemployment percentage at 11.

Because of those shifts, N.C. State University economist Michael Walden labeled the rate as “misleading.” He still believes unemployment will worsen to 12 percent or more by 2010 as he has forecast in earlier reports. North Carolina already has one of the nation’s highest jobless rates. Nationally, unemployment in July dipped slightly to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent in June.

“The fact that the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 11 percent is, unfortunately, misleading,” Walden told WRAL.com. “The state lost almost 13,000 jobs in July.

“The only reason the unemployment rate didn't increase was because of the 17,000 decline in the workforce,” he added. “We can expect that a large number of those who dropped out of the workforce are legitimately unemployed, but are not counted as such because they have stopped looking for work.

“Indeed, the job loss in July was higher than the number of jobs cut in June [some 6,000], so if anything, this indicates a slight worsening of the employment market in North Carolina.

“I still predict it will be next year before North Carolina begins to consistently add jobs.”

Larry Parker, a spokesperson for the for the ESC, pointed out some good signs in the report, such as 5,200 more people working in professional and business services. Those jobs include accountants, landscapers, engineers and other service providers.

“That increase could be a pretty good sign that firms are beginning to staff up,” he said.

More than offsetting the increase, however, was a loss of 21,300 government jobs. The figure includes teachers and other school district workers who aren’t on year-round pay schedules.

Parker did note that that the number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell to 234,803, a decline of nearly 6,000 from June. But he also acknowledged that the drop in benefits recipients as well as a decline in the size of the work force reflected a mixture of people who have “given up looking for work, have run out of benefits or have moved out of state.”

North Carolina’s unemployment rate in July 2008 was 6.3 percent.

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  • mxteam44 Aug 21, 2009

    "dervb while the current HB3200 does not specifically allow benefits for illegals it does indicate that Healthcare will be provided to everyone including illegals because Section 152 pgs 50-51 prevents any kind of discrimination. Further, an amendment proposed to specifically deny care to illegals was soundly defeated by the lovely Dumbocrats. Incidentally, all the latino support groups are supporting this sham!So guess what- you can be sure they'll get a free ride again!"

    Don't confuse them with facts! It makes them angry! Almost "mob-like" if you will! LOL!

  • yankee1 Aug 21, 2009

    wildervb while the current HB3200 does not specifically allow benefits for illegals it does indicate that Healthcare will be provided to everyone including illegals because Section 152 pgs 50-51 prevents any kind of discrimination. Further, an amendment proposed to specifically deny care to illegals was soundly defeated by the lovely Dumbocrats. Incidentally, all the latino support groups are supporting this sham!So guess what- you can be sure they'll get a free ride again!

  • readerman Aug 21, 2009

    This should not surprise anyone. We have the fewest job protections of any state in the Union. No wonder our unemployment rate is above average. Companies come here and buy themselves sweetheart deals from the legislature, pay their workers poorly (compared to the national average) and then dump them and take the money.You get what you pay for.

  • Professor Aug 21, 2009

    But the economy is turning around in Obamaland. Too bad we don't live there!" prn13norm

    If you reside in America he is your president too and you are reeking the benefits, pal. lol

  • venitapeyton Aug 21, 2009

    Interesting that no economist projected this picture for North Carolina a year ago when things started raveling apart on the national level.

  • cartman Aug 21, 2009

    "But the economy is turning around in Obamaland. Too bad we don't live there!" prn13norm

    Do you understand the economy? or have you even taken an economics class? IT IS turning around, look at GDP numbers and economic indicators.

    I guess you'd rather make random comments than actually look at information about the economy.

  • Professor Aug 21, 2009

    Jobs is seriously needed in NC. Our leaders in Chatham county don't care any more. How sad.

  • Unaffiliated Patriot Aug 21, 2009

    Wildervb and Foghat:

    You're drinking too much of that Obama Kool-Aid

    #1..Illegals are getting free healthcare NOW, and the paying consumer is footing the bill through their insurance cost increases. The free healthcare insurance will come later with the amnesty. You doubt that? They walk into any ER....anytime with a heath issue and no SSN or insurance and get treated for free and we pay for it.

    #2...No freeloaders? Welfare still pays pretty good if you had rather milk the system than contribute something. Even before the economic downturn, lines for welfare checks were full of able bodied men and women, driving Escalades, and people at Food Lion were buying food with food stamps and beer and wine with $100.00 bills. That scam has been popular for years. I've never been without a job or health insurance....(Knock on wood) Jobs are out there, unless you're looking to start at the top or refuse to take a step down from the job you had before the recession.

  • mxteam44 Aug 21, 2009

    But........but..........but...........Obama said if we passed the stimu-less package RIGHT NOW, unemployment wouldn't go over 8-9%! Duped again folks!!!

  • Worland Aug 21, 2009

    I guess I'll move to Wyoming or North Dakota where unemployment is very low. Lots of jobs out there.

    I don't mind paying more for health care in the USA since the survival rate here is substantially higher than any other Western country. If you rather have your cancer treated by the public option in Canada or the UK, go right ahead. You'll just lower your chances or surviving about 30%-50% (if you receive care at all). Remember... don't get sick after June. The gov't health care runs out of money about then. Hope you can hold on until October!

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