N.C.s unemployment and poverty rates are down, now among the lowest

N.C. adds 10,000 jobs in September

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
Heath Stanley

RALEIGH — Numbers out this week from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics show N.C. added 10,000 news jobs across the state in September. The growth is outpacing the U.S. rate and puts the state unemployment rate at around 4.7 percent, the lowest since 2007, before the recession. The BLS noted that N.C. is one of just ten states with a drop of a full percentage point in the unemployment rate since the same time last year. In September of 2015, N.C.’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent. The figures now reflect the state’s move into a “full employment” classification. “Thanks to Gov. McCrory’s and Republican state leaders’ focus on cutting taxes, balancing budgets and building a competitive business climate, our economy continues to move in the right direction — a trend that is helping create more jobs and secure a better future for thousands of North Carolina families,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg).The dropping unemployment rate has been a primary focus of McCrory’s re-election campaign, but for the third year in a row the state’s poverty rate has fallen. It is down 1.9 percentage points since 2013, now one of the lowest in the Southeast behind Maryland, Virginia and Florida.The improving economic news also includes a jump in the number of people in the state’s labor force. The Dept of Labor recently reported 61.4 percent of the state is in the labor force compared to 60 percent in 2014. The increase is likely due to workers being pushed into work because of increases in hiring for manufacturing and other skilled labor jobs. According to the data New Hampshire and South Dakota had the lowest jobless rates in September, 2.9 percent each. Alaska had the highest unemployment rate at 6.9 percent.