Only 2,500 jobs added in NC in last year

Posted May 20, 2011

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— North Carolina's unemployment rate has ebbed over the past year, but it hasn't led to a growing workforce.

The state jobless rate was 9.7 percent in April, down from 11.1 percent a year ago. Yet, despite a number of corporate expansions, the number of people employed statewide increased by only 2,508 in that time, while the size of North Carolina's labor force plunged by 67,963, according to the state Employment Security Commission.

Jobless Only 2,500 jobs added in NC in last year

ESC spokesman Larry Parker said Friday that hiring and labor force numbers don't always align.

"People can leave the labor force for a number of reasons. They can give up looking for work because they're discouraged. They can move. They can retire," Parker said.

Scott Thomas says he might be discouraged by the job market, but he isn't about to give up looking for work.

"As a person who's still unemployed, I'd say (the market) is not picking up," said Thomas, a single father of two who says he's barely hanging on financially.

"When the jobs become available but you don't ever get to put your hands on them, it frustrates you," he said.

The state lost more than 275,000 jobs since the recession began in 2008, and competition is fierce for any new openings, such as the 300 jobs linked to an expansion at computer maker Lenovo that Gov. Beverly Perdue announced Friday.

"We are really, really doing a good job at bringing companies in, but in terms of unemployment, I'm not happy at all," Perdue said of the stagnant job market.

Thomas said he has applied for 650 jobs – everything from management to cleaning dog kennels – with no luck.

"Obviously, 650 jobs in just under two years. I'm not sitting on my butt trying to collect free money," he said.

His unemployment benefits have run out because Perdue and Republican lawmakers cannot reach a compromise on a month-long standoff over an extension.

The U.S. Labor Department notified North Carolina officials in early April that the extended benefits program, which provides 20 weeks of benefits after all regular benefits have been exhausted, had to stop paying out after April 16 because the state's three-month average unemployment rate had improved.

Republican lawmakers linked a move that would keep the extended benefits flowing to a 13 percent spending cut if a state budget isn't approved by the end of June. Perdue called that "extortion" and vetoed the bill.

About 45,000 people in North Carolina are no longer receiving jobless benefits because of the standoff, and the number grows by about 2,000 every week.

"(A weekly unemployment check) is the only thing that keeps me going. That's the only reason I'm where I am," Thomas said. "I hope that they reach an agreement and more jobs come."


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  • Rebelyell55 May 20, 2011

    2500 jobs for 45000 out of work. Our goverment is really working hard for us ain't they. I write whatever comes to my little bit head, since it'll get dropped by the monitior anyway. If we don't get rid of the current two party system who are both taking money from corp. and banks, we'll alway be with out goverment for the people and by the people.

  • redapace May 20, 2011

    "Govt best thing is to keep taxes low and allow private businesses to create jobs"

    Like they did from 2000 to 2008, right?

  • mep May 20, 2011

    Spirit Warrior Woman.. It is NOT the responsibility of the govt to create a job for you, or keep providing you a check when you dont have one. Govt best thing is to keep taxes low and allow private businesses to create jobs. But Dems hate it when the rich get richer, regardless of the jobs they create... or not.

    Another poster asked, so I'll repeat what you already know. I lost everything in the recession of 1992. Job, home, car, credit.... I survived. So will everyone else.

  • ncmedic201 May 20, 2011

    C6-YA, thats amazing since he hasn't been in office 3 years...or did I sleep thru a year??

  • redapace May 20, 2011

    Slow progress beats swift decline. Remember 2007?

  • C6-YA May 20, 2011

    Thanks so much for your Hope and Change Obama. You've managed to turn our great country into a welfare state in a little over 3 years.

  • Lamborghini Mercy May 20, 2011

    "Bev and Barry don't seem to know or want to CREATE the NEW JOBS they promised to CREATE when they were campaigning."

    Seriously, feasibly no one person can single-handedly create the thousands and thousands of jobs that are needed here in NC. And Bev has been traveling to promote NC and bring business to this area, but truth is the economy is bad, everywhere.

  • Rebelyell55 May 20, 2011

    Ya'll keep voting for them Democrates and Republicans and see where it gets ya. Ya think your doing Ok now. Wait until ya over 55,lose your job of 30 years because ya taking up too much money and insurance company demands that company get rid of it's older people. You sing a different tune then.

  • ncmedic201 May 20, 2011

    There are jobs out there but it may require you to go back to school. There are certifications that can be earned in a matter of a few months that can get you back to work. I would suggest researching what jobs are being advertised and what you need to do to get one. Thats how I became a paramedic! I knew I couldn't stay out of work for years while going to school for a degree so I looked into certifications that I could do in steps to work my way up while working.

  • Rebelyell55 May 20, 2011

    Poster giving away our trade notes sucks. The scrap trade is hard enough as it is. And no people are not giving the stuff away.