No change in NC unemployment rate; job picture mixed

Posted May 20, 2011

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— North Carolina’s unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the second consecutive month in April, the state Employment Security Commission reported Friday.

While the jobless rate has declined 1.4 percentage points from a year ago, the number of people working is up only slightly.

There were 2,900 non-farm jobs added over the month, based on a survey of employers. The trade, transportation and utilities sector alone added 2,700 jobs, but those were offset by a 2,300 drop in government jobs.

Unemployment a year ago stood at 11.1 percent. Still, only a marginal number of people are working now compared to a year ago.

The size of the state’s labor force has plunged by 67,963 over the past year. That number includes people who are working or seeking work or receiving unemployment benefits.

The number of employed people has increased by 2,508 over the past year, an increase of 0.1 percent.

In the manufacturing sector, the average hours worked increased to 41.2 hours from 40.4 hours a year ago. However, the average hourly wage declined to $15.81 from $16.03.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell last month in more than three-quarters of nation's states, evidence that companies are feeling more confident in the U.S. economy.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate dropped in 39 states in April. That's an improvement from March when 34 states had reported decreases. The rate rose in three states and the District of Columbia. It was unchanged in eight states.

Employers added workers in 42 states. Only eight states and the District of Columbia lost jobs last month.

Nationally, businesses have added more than 250,000 jobs per month, on average, in the past three months. It's the fastest hiring spree in five years. The unemployment rate has dropped nearly a full percentage point since November. Still, it remains very high at 9 percent.



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  • iluvjunk May 20, 2011

    I have been knocking on doors again today looking a job. Hearing "We're not hiring" is starting to drive me nuts. On top of that I got another rejection letter in my mail from a job I wanted badly. I have contacted temporary companies, sent out countless resumes and filled out "I don't know how many" applications. I live 60 miles from Raleigh, 50 miles from Fayetteville, and 45 miles from Goldsboro. I can't afford the gas now to look a job in these cities. There are just no jobs to be had in my area. I know many of you folks think the unemployed are milking the system, however, I know for a fact I am not one of those people. I have looked for work almost everyday since I got layed off. My savings is gone, My retirement is gone. I will most likely lose my home. For 35 yrs, I busted my rear setting myself up for retirement and now it is gone. I do not want a handout from anybody. I want a job. I am to the point of ending it all right now. I wish I'd go to sleep & not wake up!!!

  • 1 awesome Dad May 20, 2011

    Realize one more thing that while you are so judgemental towards people in this position it would be to North Carolinas interest to use federal dollars to so these folks can find a job than to put them on welfare and have to burden the state even more in order to help them find a job.

    I dont argue the point that some folks take advantage that is going to happen but 45000 that were willing to work lost their job due to their company's failures not theirs. So these 45000 have not been sitting at home pulling on the economy they were keeping it going until they were removed from the workforce. So we aren't talking about 45000 bums as it seems to be insinuated over and over again.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 20, 2011

    I do agree that there are companies that are hiring I am not stating that. I am just trying to get my unemployment back so now that companies are interviewing more frequently and the folks down at my local ESC office finds me a job referral I am able to go to that job and attend that interview and get that position and re insert myself back into the work force.

    I am saying gimme gimme gimme so I can sit at home and draw a check. You need to realize that since it has been over a month that I have had a single dime come into my household and if I had a 100 interviews to go to I could not go to the first one because of a lack of gas to get there.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 20, 2011

    You are correct concerning the temporary agencies. I am registered with Prodrivers, kellysevices manpower aerotek, and a few others as well. So to accuse individuals of not wanting to work and to falsely accuse individuals of not looking for work after they have been pulling out all the stops is ludicrous.

  • PanthersFan45 May 20, 2011

    Hey it was the worst recession since the great depression. Even though layoffs have all but stopped , hiring is very slow and cautious. You can't blame employers. They are making sure this recovery is for real before they ramp up hiring. I think theres some misleading info as well because people who have fallen off unemployment may be back looking too, thus skewering the numbers. I expect unemployment to remain high for the next year or so.

  • ronbo3 May 20, 2011

    RE: Obama is creating this uncertainty. Obamacare is not clearly defined. Most of the law said that DHS will further define the regulations. How can a business owner start highering if he does not understand the full cost of the employee?

    Agree 100%

  • hfweather May 20, 2011

    and those are only 2 temporary companies there are many more out there and these jobs are temp to perm also,so don't tell me there are no jobs out there.


  • ronbo3 May 20, 2011

    RE: 1 awesome Dad, I have another question. You have been out of work for 21-22 months. At what point should the government stop providing unemployment checks? 22 months? 25 months? 50 months? 100 months? Where do you think this should stop?

    I'll answer, as long as it takes. Until this country is able to provide jobs (and stop outsourcing to other Countries)there is a need to help AMERICANS get thru this mess.
    I don't have figures, but I'm guessing we send more $ to other countries to make their life better but want to ignore hard working US citizens in hard times.

  • hfweather May 20, 2011

    2 years is long enough to find a job.i tell you what anyone that needs a job see me,while we are not hiring i will take 10% of your earnings for that year,deal?instead of being on the internet all day as some of you are,i know the names,pound the pavement to look for a job from 8-5 everyday.anyone with the click of a mouse can send a resume.

  • Keepin_it_real_in_NC May 20, 2011

    "Companies will not hire as long as the economy has such uncertianty."

    Obama is creating this uncertainty. Obamacare is not clearly defined. Most of the law said that DHS will further define the regulations. How can a business owner start highering if he does not understand the full cost of the employee?