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N.C. jobless rate dips to 10.8% but picture ‘mixed,’ economist says

Posted December 18, 2009

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— The jobless rate in North Carolina dipped again slightly in November to 10.8 percent, the state Employment Security Commission reported Friday.

The unemployment rate fell below 11 percent to 10.9 percent when the percentage was revised downward from previous reports.

Employment in the state grew by 12,453 people while unemployment dropped by 6,823, based on a survey of households, the ESC reported.

However, the ESC also noted that initial claims for unemployment benefits jumped by 14 percent, or more than 10,500, in November to 88,938 from October.

Of the new claims, some 53 percent were “attached,” which implies the companies laying off those workers expect to rehire them.

Dr. Michael Walden, an economist at N.C. State University, described the state’s jobs picture as “mixed” and stood by his longstanding belief that an improvement in hiring is still months away.

“The news is still mixed in the job market, which is the usual case before we get a shift in the trend,” he told WRAL.com and Local Tech Wire. “My forecast is still that jobs won't consistently return to NC until the first quarter of 2010. Also, when that occurs, don't be surprised if the unemployment rises as ‘discouraged workers’ begin looking for work again.”

Discouraged workers include people who have lost their jobs or are new or returning to the work force and have given up on finding a position.

Walden reviewed week-by-week initial claims and pointed out that during the week of Dec. 5 those claims “took a jump.” However, he also pointed out that the “multiple week average is still declining.”

Contrary to the statewide household survey which showed an increase in employment, Walden also pointed out that a separate survey of employers showed a decline in jobs of more than 8,000 to 3,920,000.

These figures, which are seasonally adjusted to reflect seasons and weather among other factors, are “more telling” about the actual job climate, according to a spokesperson for the ESC.

“Today's household unemployment report for NC showed job gains and a slight drop in the unemployment rate,” Walden noted. “However, the employer survey showed a decline in jobs in North Carolina for November.”

State Employment Security Commission Chairman Moses Carey Jr. stressed that more jobs are needed.

“Even though employment increased slightly over the month, we still need more job growth,” Carey said in a statement. “It’s another month where we haven’t experienced much change.

The unemployment rate a year ago stood at 7.5 percent.

Nationally, the jobless rate slipped slightly in November to 10 percent.

North Carolina did add 1,900 education and health services and 800 construction jobs last month but lost some 4,800 jobs in leisure and hospitality and another 3,900 in manufacturing.

The average hourly wage fell 13 cents to $15.78 in November, but the average number of hours worked grew to 39.5 from 39.1 the previous month.
 

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  • yankee1 Dec 18, 2009

    Mr. Brasky- the problem is that it is in English not in Marxist liberal dishonesty! Only in the liberal mind is bad news good news and untruths the truth. The real problem is that liberals and Obamabots thrive on bad news because it brings them, at least in their warped minds, closer to the demise of this country as we have known it! That is the goal isn't it? Trillion dollar deficits, 500 million dollar cuts in Medicare, the destruction of private business and industry leads you libs to believe that you are closer to your goal of European style socialism. The only thing that Obama and his minions have accomplished thus far is to galvanize the country against him and his Demoncrats! So you guys can keep thinking that bad news to normal people can actually be pushed off as good news. The anger is mounting across the country. In the end good always prevails over evil. Keep watching. You and the rest of the Obamabots have a mere 10 months to enjoy your control.

  • Jeremiah Dec 18, 2009

    There is definitely something bad about this. I don't know what, but i know there can't be good news about the economy w/ obama at the helm. i'm going to have to study it closely and figure out what obama did bad here. because he had to have done bad. had to. can someboyd help me out?

  • Bill Brasky Dec 18, 2009

    "When are you Obamabots gonna admit the guy is a fraud. Everything he has done has caused deeper problems and not fixed anything. For you guys to look at the deficit, the scam of a health bill and the fraud of cap and trade and think any of this is designed to help the country means you are either uninformed, deliberately ignoring reality or willing to destroy the country to support your party."

    I've attempted to read your rant over and over and it does not make any sense, is it even English? Looks like you partially attempted to copy and paste the latest conservative talking points from another site. Better luck next time.

  • Bill Brasky Dec 18, 2009

    I'm laughing because when these same reports show negative you guys are all about them, but the minute it shows something positive you guys turn on the reports.....hmmmm politics before country?

  • yankee1 Dec 18, 2009

    When are you Obamabots gonna admit the guy is a fraud. Everything he has done has caused deeper problems and not fixed anything. For you guys to look at the deficit, the scam of a health bill and the fraud of cap and trade and think any of this is designed to help the country means you are either uninformed, deliberately ignoring reality or willing to destroy the country to support your party. To answer your question-when will you guys admit, if ever, that Obama is turning this country around? When it is actually true which will not be until the liberals are soundly defeated first in 2010 and finally and for good in 2012! Have a nice day!

  • strawberrysw4 Dec 18, 2009

    tran: But you have to take into account all the people who abuse the system too.

  • Bill Brasky Dec 18, 2009

    Yet another article that shows an improving economy and the doom and gloomers are out in force. Just curious, when will you guys admit, if ever, that Obama is turning this country around?

  • AX Dec 18, 2009

    When unemployment benefits run out, those people drop off the radar and are no longer counted. So the rate drops. That is one of several reasons the reported unemployment numbers are misleading.

    Im appalled at how officials arent TRYING to remedy this dishonest practice of fudging the numbers as thats exactly what this is. When a business' bookeeper does this arent they usually UNEMPLOYED(fired) really quick?

  • NCPictures Dec 18, 2009

    "all haters please stop commenting" --- ger

    Yup, we can have NO opposing opinions! The chosen one has spoken. "ECONOMY....RISETH!" And it was so....... or was it????

    I sure like the new math some people seem to be smitten with.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Dec 18, 2009

    wildervb, you're wrong.....Those have given up and run out of benefits, and those that are working $4/hour jobs are no longer counted, so the RATE seems lower than it actually is. I'm telling you people, it's getting worse, and will continue to for a while. I'm an Engineer, and when engineering firms are laying off people it's a LONG time from recovery, since engineering is typically the FIRST thing that happens with ANY growth. Until we quit laying off, and start hiring again, we're still on a downhill slope.

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