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NC jobless rate stuck at 9.7 percent

Posted June 17, 2011

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— North Carolina’s unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.7 percent in May as the state lost 7,400 non-farm jobs.

The jobless rate has been the same for three consecutive months after a four-month streak at 9.8 percent.

Based on seasonally adjusted numbers, North Carolina lost 7,400 non-farm jobs in May, with the professional and business services sector shedding 4,000 workers, the state Employment Security Commission reported Friday.

The decline to 3.88 million left North Carolina with 1,000 fewer non-farm jobs than a year ago. However, a drop in the size of the state’s labor force by 45,000 kept the jobless rate from being worse than 9.7 percent.

The workforce does not include people who have run out of unemployment benefits and are no longer seeking work.

“The labor report for May for North Carolina was mixed,” North Carolina State University economist Michael Walden said after looking over the numbers.

“The broader household survey showed a gain in jobs, yet the more closely watched payroll survey showed a drop in employment,” he added.

The seasonally adjusted number for non-farm jobs is based on a survey of employers and is considered by economists to be a more accurate barometer of the job market.

“Since the bottom of the job market in February 2010, the state has added only 34,300 net non-farm jobs, less than a 1 percent gain,” Walden said. “Yet, the broadest measure of economic production (gross domestic product) shows North Carolina has re-gained the total production it lost during the recession. So, the issue is a relatively jobless’ economic recovery.”

For 2011, non-farm jobs are down by 1,000 due in large part to cutting of 32,500 government jobs, the ESC said.

A year ago, the jobless rate was 10.8 percent.

Nationally, unemployment in May was 9.1 percent, up slightly from April.

Including farm industry workers, North Carolina’s employment ranks climbed by 12,040, to 4.066 million.

Walden said he does not believe the unemployment situation will be much better over the rest of the year.

“Looking ahead, economists do think several temporary factors put a drag on the economy in the spring,” he said, citing the weather and an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. “So, I would expect better job growth for North Carolina in the months ahead.

“However, the growth will not be stellar. Due to budget constraints, both state and local governments are likely to continue to pare their labor force," he said. "So, any job growth will have to come from the private sector, and the private sector is still cautious. Plus, there is continued weakness in the housing market and the ‘deleveraging’ (debt reduction) that households are continuing, both of which are contributing to slow economic growth.

“For the rest of the year, average monthly non-farm job growth of 4,000 in the state will be average. The year-end unemployment rate in the state will still be above 9 percent. I'll give a point forecast of 9.3 percent.”

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  • mep Jun 17, 2011

    geosol "how are those Bush tax cuts for the rich and big corporations working for ya"? Better than the trillion dollar so-called "stimulus" did. How was last years "Summer of recovery".... a few million unemployed missed it, and are still looking for it. I'll bet taxing all those big bad companies back into govt submission would not help the unemployment figures for sure!

  • geosol Jun 17, 2011

    So really, good, normal people of North Carolina, how are those Bush tax cuts for the rich and big corporations working for ya?

  • Keepin_it_real_in_NC Jun 17, 2011

    Wasn't last summer the Summer of Recovery? Maybe I missed it.

  • mep Jun 17, 2011

    RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman... "You have such a biased view of the economy and job market right now".

    Aren't you the one constantly blaming the govt for not providing you with a job? How Obama lied about creating jobs, and how taxpayers should just keep extending and extending unemployment benefits for folks to look for jobs that do not exist? It that your view on the economy and jobs market?

    I do not work to support the govt, I work for my own means. I am frustrated by an ever increasing govts expanded role as re-distributor of what I earn. While they dig me, and my children deeper and deeper into debt. It is NOT their money. Yet my school age children already owe $92,000 towards the national debt, not including interest, or their normal taxes. THAT should bother anyone, unless they just leech the system and have no intention of paying. Which will be the majority if handouts continue.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Jun 17, 2011

    Maybe instead of nothing except vetos from veto Bev she could just resign and let someone else take over.

    Please resign veto Bev, you have ruined our state. For years to come!

  • Da Toy Maker Jun 17, 2011

    "LOL what? Im in sales and make $42K a year. Im just a poor 32 year old man thats doesnt blame government for what is my responsibility. If people would quit crying they might succeed. You can succeed in any economy. I did buy a foreclosed home though if that counts
    Keepin_it_Reel_in_NC
    GOLO member since June 16, 201"

    Point well taken. With that said, we must also have to remember that there are a lot of people who have been laid off from their job and they are not even getting any consideration for jobs because their age. Everyone has his/her story.

  • Road-wearier Jun 17, 2011

    "Sounds to me like the Republican's around here want us to become some kind of odd monarchy where the business owners are the Lords and the working men and women are the serfs.."

    I'd have to agree with this, yep.

    "Gov. Purdue is all about herself. A me person. "

    Yep, because she's a politician. If you think a Republican governor will look after your interests any better, you're deluding yourself. At least she's not a complete honk for The Lords Of Industry.

  • Wheelman Jun 17, 2011

    "It's funny RKBA, for nearly 5 decades we didn't see a higher marginal tax rate for the upper bracket as punitive.

    It was thought to encourage businesses to re-invest in their company, rather than merely accumulate wealth." BIlzac

    What's really funny is that the post war boom was fading in the early 60's and Democrat President JFK decided that the best way to boost the economy was to get Congress to cut the maximum rates practically in half so that it would encourage the wealthy to invest and take more risks with their money since they wouldn't get burned by taxes. And it worked! The Progressive Dems don't want to talk about this when they talk about JFK because it pops their "Big government is the answer." balloon!

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jun 17, 2011

    mep - "Beats having the govt as our Lord and everyone else working to support it, and all those they deem "needy"."

    You have such a biased view of the economy and job market right now.

    Either you have a government job you're sure of keeping, or you're self-employed in a field certain to always have customers - like undertaker or plumber.

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Jun 17, 2011

    YES!!! In the past 2 years ive chnaged my house for the better, car for the better, savings are for the better, and my paycheck is bigger than ever. ....

    You are either a foreclosure or bankruptcy lawyer
    I am not who you think I am
    GOLO member since October 24, 2010
    June 17, 2011 4:17 p.m.
    Ignore Report abuse

    LOL what? Im in sales and make $42K a year. Im just a poor 32 year old man thats doesnt blame government for what is my responsibility. If people would quit crying they might succeed. You can succeed in any economy. I did buy a foreclosed home though if that counts

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