State unemployment rate moves in the wrong direction

A mixed bag of economic news Friday from the N.C. Employment Security Commission. The agency reports that while the private sector added jobs last month, losses in the public sector lifted the state’s jobless rate to 10.5%.

Over the course of the last 12 months, private sector jobs have increased by 28,400, but state and local governments have lost 18,700 positions.

“Compared to December 2007, North Carolina has fewer payroll jobs in every major industry group except for educational and health services and leisure and hospitality services,” noted analyst John Quinterno with South by North Strategies. “While public-sector employment had been a source of strength earlier in the downturn, it now is weighing on growth. Since February 2010, local government employment has fallen by 4.7 percent with state government employment declining by 5.3 percent.”

The news comes one day after the U.S. Senate failed to advance a key piece of President Obama’s jobs plan that would send cash-strapped states $35 billion in additional funding to help keep teachers, police and firefighters on the job, preventing more public-sector layoffs.

The vote was 50-50, ten votes shy of the number needed for lawmakers to begin debate on the President’s jobs proposal.

Democrats contend the bill would create or save nearly 400,000 jobs for educators and emergency responders. Republicans say the plan unfairly taxes those with incomes of more than $1 million.

Senator Richard Burr voted against the measure on Thursday, while Senator Kay Hagan voted to support consideration of the legislation.

5 Comments

  1. jim neal

    October 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    And we lost 22,000 jobs over the last month- more than any other state. Mostly in education.

  2. Eunice

    October 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Why did Senator Hagan vote against the free trade agreements with South Korea and Columbia when everyone was saying it would mean more jobs for Americans ? Why did Obama hold the agreements for three years ?

  3. William

    October 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    So the economic recovery continues ! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !

  4. david esmay

    October 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    @Eunice, those free trade agreements, if you’ve actually read the details, are not favorable to domestic jobs, whoever negotiated them was a moron. They are left over NAFTA type programs from Bush, it is estimated it will cost 160,000 US jobs initially and they do nothing to balance trade. It also opens a door for US corporations to hide more money in Panama’s secretive banking industry. Korea manipulate’s it currency much the way China does against the dollar. The repubs like it because they and their corporate masters can stick another knife in the back of the middle class and call it progress.

  5. Eunice

    October 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    You’ve been reading way too much labor union material David ! Several Wall Street Journal articles contradict everything you say, and the Congress evidently agreed it was a good idea. Protectionism does not work in a global economy. You either play the game or get out . It’s high time the labor unions understand this.