RALEIGH, N.C. — All but two sectors of North Carolina's economy shed jobs last month, causing the unemployment rate to climb to an all-time high of 11.1 percent, according to the state Employment Security Commission.
New numbers released Friday showed nearly 17,500 North Carolina workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in May. There were 508,834 people seeking jobs in North Carolina that month.
Seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 28,855 workers to 4,059,416.
The increase follows the three previous months in which the unemployment rate stayed steady at 10.7 percent.
"While we continue to have job announcements in areas across North Carolina, we are still experiencing some job losses in many job sectors," ESC Chairman Moses Carey Jr. said. "This is also being seen across the country."
The government and manufacturing sectors saw the greatest decline, losing 4,000 and 3,800 jobs respectively. The construction, manufacturing, professional, financial, education, health and information sectors also loss jobs.
Only two sectors of the non-farm economy added jobs: leisure and hospitality services with 2,900 positions and trade, transportation and utilities with 200 positions.
"There are about five people applying for every job that's available, right now," Carey said. "That tells me that employers are still a little bit cautious. They're waiting to see what's going to happen before they make significant investments."
Since May 2008, the number of unemployed workers has increased by 242,508. A year ago, unemployment was at 5.9 percent.