Employers shed thousands of jobs in June; NC unemployment rate unchanged
Posted July 18, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Employers in North Carolina shed more than 5,000 jobs in June, but the state's unemployment rate remained steady at 6.4 percent, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Commerce.
The state's unemployment rate declined steadily between June 2013 and April, but it climbed in May and stayed the same in June. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in May.
"The worst thing about the state's unemployment situation that is revealed in this report is that the labor force is not growing," said Robert Mulligan, an economics professor at Western Carolina University. "Normally, when a labor market is recovering from a recession, it recovers much, much faster than this."
The state's labor force in June was 4,688,480, down more than 10,000 since May. The labor force – or the total number of people eligible to work – is down nearly 12,000 since June 2013.
The number of people employed in June was 4,389,167, down more than 8,500 from May. About 77,000 more people are listed as employed than in June 2013.
The number of people unemployed – those who are looking for jobs – fell by 2,142, from 301,455 in May to 299,313 in June.
"Unfortunately, what is happening here is that the size of the labor force is falling," Mulligan said. "Basically, what that indicates is that our recovery is lagging behind the national recovery."
A survey calculating nonfarm payrolls recorded 5,800 fewer jobs in the month of June. The major industry with the largest over-the-month increase was professional and business services at 3,700. The sector experiencing the largest decrease was government, with a decline of 13,300 as state and local agencies shed workers due to budget cuts.
Average hourly wages for manufacturing production workers fell 16 cents in June, from $16.81 an hour to $16.65 an hour.