North Carolina Unemployment Rate Increases to 4.9%

Posted December 22, 2006 12:55 p.m. EST

— An increase in the number of unemployed that nearly matched the number of new jobs pushed North Carolina’s unemployment rate up to 4.9 percent in November, the state Employment Security Commission said on Friday.

The increase, from 4.7 percent in October, still left the state’s jobless rate lower than the 5.1 percent figure in November of 2005.

Employment increased by 12,898, or 0.3 percent, in November, pushing the number of people holding jobs to another all-time high of 4,279,400.

“North Carolina’s job market continues to need workers,” said Harry Payne, Jr., chairman of the ESC, in a statement. “Employment increased yet again last month. We continue to experience job growth as new companies locate to our great state. At the same time, existing companies continue to grow as well.”

The largest increase in jobs came in leisure and hospitality services (plus 4,500).

However, unemployment climbed by 12,268, or 5.8 percent, to 222,025.

The largest decrease among workers was in manufacturing where a net 1,700 jobs were lost.

The 4.9 unemployment rate is the highest for the year, matching the level reached in September.

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased slightly in November to 4.5 percent.