Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the NC Division of Employment Security released data on the state of North Carolina’s labor market. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.4 percent over the month but is still below where it was a year ago. Despite this annual improvement in the unemployment rate, the reality is the labor market continues to provide too few job opportunities for those who seek work.
The number of missing workers, which estimates who would be in the labor market if job opportunities were stronger, provides additional insight into the state of North Carolina’s labor market. As of May 2014, there are an estimated 230,517 missing workers in North Carolina. Again, these are North Carolinians who would be seeking work if jobs were available. If these workers were included in the official unemployment rate that rate would be nearly twice the official unemployment rate: 11.3 percent rather than 6.4 percent.