NC employers shed thousands of jobs in February; unemployment rate dips

Posted March 28, 2014
Updated June 6, 2014


— North Carolina's unemployment rate fell again in February, but employers in the state continued to shed jobs, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Commerce. 

A survey calculating nonfarm payrolls recorded 11,300 fewer jobs in the month after a decline of more than 7,000 jobs in January. 

Despite the drop in jobs, the state's unemployment rate dipped to 6.4 percent, marking the eighth straight month of steady decline. North Carolina's unemployment rate is down 2.2 percentage points from February 2013 and is now better than the national unemployment rate, which was 6.7 percent last month. 

The state's labor force in February was 4,659,236, down 7,349 since January. The labor force is down more than 60,000 since February 2013, evidence of many people, some of them the long-term unemployed, are dropping out of the job market and are no longer counted in the unemployment rate calculation.

“If North Carolina is going to see a healthy long-term recovery in employment growth, we need to see all jobless workers moving into jobs, rather than out of the labor force. And we’re not seeing that because job creation remains anemic,” said Allan Freyer, an analyst with the NC Justice Center. 

The number of people unemployed – those who are looking for jobs – fell sharply, from 310,974 in January to 296,226 in February.

Employers continue to shed jobs

Employers in North Carolina shed more than 11,000 jobs in February, and only three nonfarm sectors saw growth during the month.

NC Department of Commerce.

Only three nonfarm sectors saw growth in February. Trade, transportation and utilities, manufacturing and financial services added about 4,600 positions. Job losses were reported by education and health services, construction, professional and business services, other services, leisure and hospitality services, government and mining and logging sectors.

Average hourly earnings for manufacturing production workers fell 44 cents in February to $16.35 an hour. Average weekly hours were down nearly two hours, and average weekly earnings dropped nearly $50 to $649.10.

The food industry remains North Carolina's leading sector in manufacturing employment at 51,300.  

Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday that he's pleased to see more people getting back to work. 

"The job is far from finished. While I am encouraged by the continued progress we have made over such a short period of time, we will remain focused on pro-jobs policies that help people get back to work and position North Carolina for a strong and steady comeback over the long-term," he said in a statement.


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  • "Screen Name-8/20" Mar 28, 2014

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    With 14+ million jobs still less in this country than there were in the Spring of 2006, there are no jobs for them to apply for.

    Even new college graduates with degrees are flipping burgers nowadays, cause that's the only employers that will have them.

    As for well educated, well seasoned employees over 35-40 that are out in the cold after the mass corporate downsizing of 2006-2008, jobs for them are few and far between, because even fast food joints, discount stores, grocery stores, etc., won't hire the over-qualified.

    If you haven't tried it lately, you must do so to see how much fun it is living on $300 a week when one once earned $1500 a week or more.

  • Mike Rigsbee Mar 28, 2014

    So how do you shed jobs but have a dip in unemployment?.........Oh, that's right, many more people have given up on looking for work!

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Mar 28, 2014

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    Exactly! Many of the unemployed are now college graduates, many even middle-aged seasoned managers with decades of experience who were left with $300 a week UE benefits when they once earned $60,000-80,000 or more a year.

    Anyone who thinks they aren't trying HARD to find jobs and prefers trying to meet their obligations on $300 a week while lolling about lazily at home is just plain insane.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Mar 28, 2014

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    You've not been watching closely then because several of us complain every single time "adjusted" numbers are released, when we know "adjusted" means they've been manipulated, probably to the Bleeding Edge, in an order to arrive at figures the government thinks we'll believe because they haven't figured out yet, the intelligent among us no longer believe anything our government publishes.

  • oyid Mar 28, 2014

    In your mind, what is a definitive profile of these 'scammers' that you are citing? What do they 'look' like? Anybody that wants to live on $300 a week (max), must be living large! Especially after they left a job paying MORE than $300/week. Social warfare... A military jet crashes and there goes several $Million up in smoke, not in anyone's stomach.

  • Kenny Dunn Mar 28, 2014

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    I don't honor anyone with such disrespect for the office of the President. I spent 8 years doing the same thing with my spousal unit during the previous administration.

  • Kenny Dunn Mar 28, 2014

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    No argument there.

  • Get your IDs Mar 28, 2014

    None of you complained when Barry fudged the numbers before he re-election. so why is number fudge an issue now? Because its republicans doing it and not democrats. Just goes to show any time liberals get mad about something its something they have already done themselves. pathetic hypocrites

  • Get your IDs Mar 28, 2014

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    How about explaining Barrys laser like focus on jobs first?

  • tracmister Mar 28, 2014

    The bottom line is that there are actually less jobs which means less people working in the state.