Business

N.C. jobless rate drops slightly to match national average

Posted November 19, 2010 10:47 a.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2010 12:20 p.m. EST

— Unemployment figures from the sate Friday showed the October unemployment rate for the state declined 0.1 percentage point, to 9.6 percent, putting North Carolina even with the national average for joblessness.

A year ago, the state's unemployment stood at 10.9 percent.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed that 427,091 people were looking for work last month, compared with 433,973 in September and 492,940 in October 2009.

The Employment Security Commission said the number of people working was down slightly, but the number of people officially listed as unemployed was down more. Unemployment calculations are adjusted for normal seasonal fluctuations that happen in any year. They do not capture how many people may have given up looking for work and have dropped out of the work force.

The number of people employed decreased over the month by 0.1 percent to 4,041,400, while the number of people unemployed fell 1.6 percent to 427,091, the ESC reported.

Since October 2009, the number of people unemployed has decreased by 65,849 and the number of workers employed has gone up 12,887.

During October, the report said, 65,225 people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time as they became jobless.

"While the October data reflected a slight decline in the unemployment rate, the total industry employment was flat,” said ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes. “However, North Carolina’s economy has added over 15,000 jobs since December 2009. The largest amount of this job growth has been in the professional and business services sector.”

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, remained at 3,901,700 in October, the ESC said.

The largest month-over-month employment increase occurred in Education & Health Services (+4,000). The largest decrease was in Leisure & Hospitality (-4,000). Since October 2009, nonfarm employment has increased by 9,100 jobs, the state said.

The number of people employed (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 5,270 workers to 4,041,4000 in October.