Business

State unemployment rate edges up again

Posted March 10, 2011 11:39 a.m. EST
Updated March 10, 2011 11:46 a.m. EST

Unemployment

— North Carolina's unemployment rate edged up slightly again in January, although the state gained about 4,500 jobs that month, officials said Thursday.

The jobless rate for January was 9.9 percent, up from 9.8 percent in December, according to data from the state Employment Security Commission. In January 2010, the statewide unemployment rate was 11.4 percent.

Seasonally adjusted non-farm employment increased to 3,861,400 in January. Including farm workers, the number of people employed remained flat at 4,024,435.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed people rose rose by 3,374, to 440,622.

The average wage and number of hours worked also decreased slightly compared with December. The non-seasonally adjusted average hourly wage fell 5 cents, to $15.82, while employees worked 40.4 hours, down from 41.2 hours in December.

Those are below the average wage of $16 an hour and above the 40 weekly hours of work recorded in January 2010.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector added the most jobs – 11,300 – in January. The largest decrease was in construction, which lost 5,100 jobs.

"In particular, there was an indication of strong growth in the retail sector and positive growth in several sectors over the year," ESC Chairwoman Lynn Holmes said in a statement.

Since last January, the number of unemployed people has decreased by 78,594, while the number of employed workers has also gone down, by 2,841.

The ESC also released revised numbers for the past year. The unemployment rate for November 2010 was raised a tenth of a point, to 9.8 percent.