NC unemployment dips slightly…to a still alarming rate of 10.8%

This morning the NC Employment Security Commission released state employment numbers for the month of August. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.8% in August, meaning that 488,974 North Carolina’s workers were unable to find jobs. Since the recession began in December 2007 North Carolina has shed 255,400 jobs. The latest unemployment rate represents a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. This is in part due to the fact that 7,000 jobs were added (thanks primarily to expansion in local government employment) and to workers dropping out of the labor market entirely. The private sector continued to shed jobs, with manufacturing and construction eliminating the most jobs in the past year (73,500 and 38,200). At 10.8% North Carolina is tied with Ohio and Tennessee for the 9th highest rate of unemployment.

While it’s good news that the unemployment rate in the state has not increased in the past few months since it peaked at 11% in May, the current unemployment rate is still much higher than any time during the previous two recessions of early 1990′s and the early 2000′s. This many months after the beginning of the past two recessions the state unemployment rate was 6.4% and 6.5% respectively.

The extended unemployment benefits made possible by the federal recovery package earlier this year are set to expire in December by which time an estimated 32,171 North Carolinians will see their benefits expire. Keep in mind that only about 38% of jobless workers in North Carolina are eligible for unemployment benefits and that the average benefit payment is approximately $300 per week.

The National Employment Law Project and others are calling on Congress to extend benefits for an additional 10-20 weeks. Given that during this recession approximately half of unemployed workers cannot find jobs after six months of looking extending benefits once again may be a good idea – both for maintaining spending in local economies and keeping working families from falling into poverty.

8 Comments

  1. Louie

    September 18, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    whats the effective (U-6) unemployment rate in NC, Elaine?

  2. Elaine Mejia

    September 18, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I haven’t seen a recent state-level number for what is termed “underemployment” which adds the officially unemployed, plus involuntary part-time workers plus marginally attached workers but the national statistic for this figure was 16.3% in July according to the Economic Policy Institute. Because NC’s unemployment rate is a few points higher than the nation’s I’m sure that our underemployment rate (or effective unemployment rate) is higher than the nation’s as well.

  3. David

    September 19, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Does any extension just apply to those whose benefits end before 12/31/99? Mine end in January, do I fall ththrough a crack?

  4. Dave

    September 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    These numbers are only illusions to what the real rate is. Not included in the unemployment counts are those whose benefits have run out, those who quit looking for work, those who have o job and have moved in with relatives. The numbers are meaningless and only include those who have been laid off or fired. The do not include independent contractors, the self employed or those in the real estate field. The actual numbers are far more serious than the Obama adminstration wants you or I to believe. Its as simple as that. Its an old trick and most of America has fallen for it other than those that keep a keen eye on the actual statistics. Think how bad it actually is in California if the government says its the worst in almost 70 years.

  5. Del

    September 20, 2009 at 7:41 am

    These so-called extensions of benefits are confusing. My EUC08 extended benefits end in early 2010. If I still can’t find a job, and If Congress extends further, will it apply to us too, or does it only apply to those whose benefits end in 2009?

  6. hsr0601

    September 20, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Nowadays, the world-wide overpopulation growing consistently is using up tremendous fossil fuel at an alarming pace as the own conventional resources in some dense countries is facing drastic dent.

    For that reason, it is widely accepted that the price of fossil fuel is expected to go up and up simply, which is behind major states taking a bold and speedy action in a bid to put the global economy on a solid ground.

    Relying on worthless, painful and wasteful oil wars, that is, the original source of this great recession, to waste time bickering on meaningless things and drag feet on a defining energy bill are sure to shake the embryonic effect of stimulus package that is an interim measure for build-out of a new foundation.

    As with “Inaction” cost, $9trillion over the next decade in health care and social security, supposedly the same is of inaction on the most-needed energy bill. The health care and contemporary energy bill alike share common things : Future, Moral imperative, measurable creation of employments.

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  8. nc unemployment – ???

    October 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    [...] The Progressive Pulse – NC unemployment dips slightly…to a still …This morning the NC Employment Security Commission released state employment numbers for the month of August. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.8% in August, meaning that 488974 North Carolina Share and Enjoy: [...]