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Triangle jobless rate up in one set data, down in another

Posted March 18, 2011

Unemployment
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— The Triangle’s unemployment rate either jumped more than half a percentage point or declined slightly in January, based on two sets of data.

Joblessness climbed to 8.3 percent in January from 7.7 percent in December, according to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. However, the figures are not adjusted for seasonal factors such as holiday hiring and layoffs.

However, the rate fell slightly to 7.8 percent in January from 7.9 percent in December, according to the Bureau of Business Research at East Carolina University.

US Department of Labor data that also adjusted for seasonal factors showed the Triangle gained 1,700 jobs, pointed out North Carolina State University economist Dr. Michael Walden.

Economists and the ESC say seasonally adjusted numbers are a more accurate indicator of job trends.

“It is very important to make typical seasonal adjustments to the jobs data when comparing December and January employment levels,” Walden said. “This is because extra folks are always temporarily hired in December for the Christmas selling season and then let go in January.

“Fortunately, the US Commerce Department's nonfarm payroll job data for
metropolitan areas does make these seasonal adjustments,” he added. “For the
Triangle region these seasonally-adjusted data show an increase of 1,700 jobs in the region for January.”

Walden also reviewed the ECU adjusted job figures and said “they are consistent with the payroll numbers I cited. So I am encouraged by the January job numbers for the Triangle.”

Dr. James Kleckley, director of business reach at ECU’s College of Business, said “one month does not make a trend.”

The ESC pointed out that its unadjusted state unemployment rate was 10.5 percent and joblessness increased in 99 of 100 counties in January. However, Kleckley said job growth is taking place.

“I think that the economy is recovering in NC, but it is a soft recovery,” he said. “For example, if you look at the graphs in the [seasonally adjusted unemployment rate] you can argue that you see a stall in recovery.

“Other indicators, like building permits, have yet to recover,” he added, “and if we don’t have building, we don’t need as many construction workers.”

The unadjusted jobless rate in the Triangle was 7.7 percent in December. The ECU reported an adjusted rate of 7.9 percent.

Larry Parker, a spokesperson for the ESC, said the January data likely reflected drops in holiday payrolls. But he also noted that “most job sectors are down … it’s across the board," including drops in government. 

"We reviewed the Not Seasonally Adjusted over the month decrease in State Government," Parker explained. "The majority of the change in Government is due to a decrease in State Government Educational Services. Between December and January we experienced a decline in employment in state colleges and universities. This is a seasonal issue. Last year we also experienced a similar trend in State Government Education Services. That is we had a similar seasonal decline between December 2009 and January 2010.

"We also reviewed the Not Seasonally Adjusted over the month decrease in Trade. The over the month change was due mainly to a decrease in Retail Trade. Keep in mind that we typically see a decline in Retail Trade employment between December and January.

"This decline can be mainly attributed to the change in seasonal employment in retail stores that occurs between December and January."

The January unadjusted rate of 8.3 percent was the highest since 8.7 percent in March of last year.

A year earlier, the unadjusted rate was 9.3 percent vs. an adjusted rate of 8.8 percent.

The seasonally adjusted rate for NC in January was 9.9 percent, according to the ESC’s announcement made last week.

In the new report, North Carolina shed 28,491 jobs in January, leaving 3.97 million on payrolls. Meanwhile, the number of people listed as unemployed surged by 34,897 to 463,492.

Unemployment also rose in all the state’s major metropolitan areas.

• Asheville — 8.9 percent, up from 7.9 percent in December.
• Burlington — 10.8 percent, up from 10.1 percent.
• Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC — 11.1 percent, up from 10.7 percent.
• Durham-Chapel Hill — 7.6 percent, up from 6.9 percent.
• Fayetteville — 9.7 percent, up from 9 percent.
• Goldsboro — 8.9 percent, up from 8.2 percent.
• Greensboro-High Point — 10.9 percent, up from 10.2 percent.
• Greenville — 10.1 percent, up from 9.5 percent.
• Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton — 12.8 percent, up from 12.4 percent.
• Jacksonville — 9 percent, up from 7.8 percent
• Raleigh-Cary — 8.3 percent, up from 7.8 percent.
• Rocky Mount — 13.1 percent, up from 12.6 percent.
• Wilmington — 10.6 percent, up from 9.9 percent.
• Winston-Salem — 10.1 percent, up from 9.2 percent.

 

 

62 Comments

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  • Bill Brasky Mar 18, 2011

    This country began seeing a major deficit every year starting in the 1980s. This did not start in January 2007

  • Bill Brasky Mar 18, 2011

    "the only thing that has been going on is increased spending, especially since Jan. 2007."

    What happened in January 2007?

  • JustAName Mar 18, 2011

    "Of course, over the last 10 years spending has increased and taxes have been decreased creating the current fiscal mess."

    More and more spending by the government hasn't worked, why don't we try less spending and see if that works?

    Since taxes haven't decreased in the last 7+ years (since May 23, 2003), the only thing that has been going on is increased spending, especially since Jan. 2007.

  • Dark of the Moon Mar 18, 2011

    Salaries are paid, those workers pay taxes and spend that money, smart private businesses get that money back.

    ^^^

    Now that's about as goofy as a football bat. Government pay comes directly out of the private sector. If every penny is returned it's a wash. As for government employees paying income taxes, sounds kinda silly to give them money and then take it back since it all comes from the private sector and each dollar has been taxed already.

    ykm

    ^^^

    BINGO!!!!

    Taking money from the private sector and having the GUBMINT spend it is a wash at absolute best. It is more likely a loss, as layers of bureaucracy are added in that would not exist in the private sector.

    The best thing the GUBMINT could have done as a stimulus was to ELIMNINATE 100% of personal income taxes to ALL people for a short period of time.....if they want to do it the deficit way. That would have put cash directly into the system to be spent.

    But then the GUBMINT wouldn't control it. Oooops!!!

    Charlton Dude

  • babbleon Mar 18, 2011

    -Enter Screen Name: Taxes, including income taxes, are on the *profits* of a business - that's what determines TAXABLE income. Payroll is deducted from income before it's taxed. Increasing income taxes will not affect jobs directly.

    Lower profits *might* drive some people out of the industry, which would be an indirect effect on jobs, but your scenario does not match up to reality.

  • wildervb Mar 18, 2011

    -Enter Screen Name -,

    There are a couple of things wrong with your arguement as well.

    First of all, even a small business is going to deduct expenses from his business, those expenses of course include worker salaries. Any business that isn't doing this, probably isn't going to stay in business.

    So basically its profits that are taxed.

    The proposed change was just a 3% increase in taxes for income over 250,000. Of course income under 250,000 would still be taxed at the same rate.

    So if a Business earned 260,000 in profits, the 3% increase would only apply to the last 10,000 earned. The total extra tax paid come to $300! The owner of the business can avoid the extra $300 in taxes by investing an additional 10,000 in his business (remember investments in a business are deductable).

    This is just one hypothetical situation. I'm not arguing for ever higher taxes and spending. Just pointing out that some of the blanket statements being made are bogus.

  • wildervb Mar 18, 2011

    wayneboyd and ykm,

    As I said, the government does get its money from taxes.

    My point was, this money isn't just taken from taxpayers and buried in the ground, it used for various government services. All the money winds up being spend one way or another back into the economy.

    You can't just say its a wash either. Roads are built, Teachers are paid to educate our kids, Police are paid to protect us, Firemen paid to protect our property, the army is paid to protect our country. All these 'services' are value added.

  • ykm Mar 18, 2011

    Salaries are paid, those workers pay taxes and spend that money, smart private businesses get that money back.
    Now that's about as goofy as a football bat. Government pay comes directly out of the private sector. If every penny is returned it's a wash. As for government employees paying income taxes, sounds kinda silly to give them money and then take it back since it all comes from the private sector and each dollar has been taxed already.

  • wayneboyd Mar 18, 2011

    wildervb..Question, where does the government get the money it spends, and where does the tax dollars go government workers pay back into the system. Did not the money spent by government come out of the taxpayers pocket, and doesn't the tax dollars paid by government go right back into the kitty their paychecks are written from, so the government nor the government worker in reality contributes nothing financially to the benefit of the country. That is the biggest problem facing America today, we've got more people drawing government checks than we have people in the private sector working and paying taxes. No household, no individual, and no government can survive but so long when they spend more than they take in.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Mar 18, 2011

    "How's that Hope and Change working out for y'all?"

    Gosh, that just get more and more clever every time we hear or read it. I HOPE you CHANGE and some up with something original and possibly relevant for a CHANGE.

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