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Unemployment rate remains at 8.8 percent for June

The statewide unemployment rate is holding steady at 8.8 percent, despite a statewide loss of 11,000 jobs over the last month.

The June employment data was released today by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis division.  It was the same as last month, and down from the 9.6 percent unemployment the state battled this time last year.

Today’s release of June data make the third month in a row the state has come in under 9 percent. Click here for more detailed data from the state commerce agency about the unemployment figures.

But it’s far from a rosy picture, with 10,958 less people employed this month over last month and an estimated 10,000 people no longer in the labor force (meaning those who are no longer actively looking for jobs).

North Carolina continues to suffer from higher unemployment rates than most of the national, and continues to have the fifth-worst job market in the nation, according to state rankings by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

States that are worse off are Rhode Island, Mississippi, Illinois and Nevada.

The Dakotas are doing the best in the nation, in terms of employment statistics. North Dakota has an unemployment rate of 3.1 percent while only 3.9 percent of South Dakotans are looking for work, according to the BLS data.

In the background of all this, the state is beginning to feel the effects of cutting short unemployment benefits for more than 70,000 long-term jobless North Carolinians.

Because of a number of changes that went into effect to the state’s unemployment system, including reductions in how long and how much individual can receive, the large group of people were not able to receive federal unemployment benefits that otherwise would have gone to them. The affected people are those who had exhausted the state-provided benefits and had been ready to receive federal money provided in light of the nation’s slow climb back from the recent recession.

The decision by the legislature to give a July 1 start date for changes to the unemployment system, instead of delaying it to January, made North Carolina the only state to reject the federal funds.

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