N.C. unemployment drops to 10 percent in June

Posted July 16, 2010

— North Carolina’s unemployment rate declined to 10 percent in June.

That’s the fourth consecutive month the jobs picture has improved, the state Employment Security Commission reported Friday.

At 10 percent, the jobless rate is the lowest since January 2009, when it was 9.7 percent. A year ago, the jobless rate was 11 percent.

The national unemployment rate is 9.5 percent.

According to the ESC, non-farm jobs grew by 5,100 last month.

Michael Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University, said he liked much of what he found in the data.

“I found the June employment report for North Carolina encouraging,” Walden told “The non-farm employment count, which is a broader survey and usually the one economists focus on, showed a total gain of 5,100 jobs, even after accounting for the 6,500 government jobs (mainly Census workers) that were lost.”

The rate has fallen from a peak of 11.2 percent in February to 11.1 percent in March, 10.8 percent in April and 10.4 percent in May.

“There was positive news in the June data in that the state experienced a small gain in jobs,” ESC Chairwoman Lynn Holmes said in a statement. “Since February, North Carolina has added over 45,000 jobs, but we still have a long way to go.”

Most jobs were added in the leisure and hospitality sector, which saw 7,900 new jobs last month.

“Construction still lost jobs, indicating that sector is still not in recovery mode,” Walden said.

Gov. Beverly Perdue said she was encouraged by the job growth.

"While the pain isn’t over yet, this month’s employment figures make me optimistic that North Carolina is on a path to recovery, led by our private sector industries and small businesses,” Perdue said in a statement.

Walden said he believes further improvement is ahead for the state, but he also cautioned that the recovery from the recession will continue to be slow and painful.

“The state's (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate fell to 10 percent, which puts it on track for my forecast of an end-of-the-year state unemployment rate of 9.5 percent,” he said. “One major negative in the report was that 26,000 individuals dropped out of the labor force.”

When people stop looking for work, they are no longer counted as unemployed.

“While the report is generally upbeat, we should recognize that the recovery from the recession will be agonizingly slow,” Walden said. “It could easily take three to four years to see the unemployment rate return to pre-recessionary levels.

“The main reason is the consumer," he said. "Consumers entered this recession with record high debt loads. The recession, mainly through it effects on reducing consumer wealth, has forced consumers to pay down on debt and save more."


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  • Plenty Coups Jul 16, 2010

    yourkillingme-First of all, 25-18= 7. Right off the start your math is faulty. Then you claim the current unemployment is 18%. Love to see actual proof of that. The national unemployment rate is around 9%. They measure their unemployment by taking surveys. Are you trying to tell me that we're double the national rate? C'mon, stop with the fantasy numbers and provide actual proof.

  • ykm Jul 16, 2010

    The true unemployment rate is closer to 18%. During the depression the highest unemployment rate was 25 percent. 6% difference is nothing to brag about. The 10% number is incorrect, it uses only those who can collect unemployment. A lower unemployment rate means nothing unless tax revenues are increasing.

  • Plenty Coups Jul 16, 2010

    lets dive-"as things continue to improve in the country. SERIOUSLY? 10% is an improvement? really our expectations have real sunk if that is true"

    Again, it could be a lot worse.4 straght months of improvement. Last year at this time we were over 11%. The economy (gross domestic product) is showing growth. We're headed in the right direction. During the Great Depression the unemployment rate was well over 20%. It's definitely great that we never reached that point.

  • grasshopperrtp2 Jul 16, 2010

    So let me get this right.Once your employment benefits expire,you are no longer a stat.If you stop looking for a job because you cannot find one,then you are not a stat.People who are self-employed that are not getting work are not a stat.I guess this means that the ACTUAL unemployment rate is 25%.And this recession will last another 2 years.Pray we don't have another 9/11.

  • Plenty Coups Jul 16, 2010

    "That's swell. Could you answer the question, though?"

    I consider 4 straight months of the unemployment rate dropping great news. It could be 4 straight months of the unemployment rate rising.

  • LETS DIVE Jul 16, 2010

    as things continue to improve in the country.
    SERIOUSLY? 10% is an improvement? really our expectations have real sunk if that is true

  • Hans Jul 16, 2010

    ""Where is this "great news" again?"

    You're right, I apologize. Let me rewrite it. Here we go:

    Horrible news North Carolina, today the NC Employment Security Commission relesed news that unemployment had gone down 4 months in a row. Critics immediately pointed out that it wasn't five months in a row and that heading in the right direction doesn't count if their party can't take credit for it. They suggested it might be better if unemployment actually increased so that they could vote out of office all the socialists who were causing this country to go in the right direction."

    That's swell. Could you answer the question, though?

  • Voice of Reason 23 Jul 16, 2010

    Amazing how many excuses the Right keeps coming up with as to why Obama sucks, as things continue to improve in the country.

  • Bill Brasky Jul 16, 2010

    "Yeah, I see the problem, we have no leadership! We're screwed!"

    Your side claims that government doesnt work, yet you demand leadership from them? You sound like a child having a temper tantrum to me.

  • whatusay Jul 16, 2010

    plenty coups...I believe you have it correct...regardless of what happens now it's Obama's fault. I can't believe you agree with me. When he took office he accepted full responsibility for the economy, jobs, defense, and enforcing the constitution. I don't believe he is doing a good job with any of them