National economic news good; NC situation not so encouraging

As Dean Baker notes this morning, the national economic news is encouraging. In addition to the record high Dow Jones average, Baker points out:

“The economy added 288,000 jobs in June, making it the fifth consecutive month in which the economy added over 200,000 jobs. This is the longest stretch of 200,000 plus job growth since before the recession. The job gains were broadly based. Retail was the biggest gainer, adding 40,200 jobs, with professional and technical services adding 30,100 jobs. Manufacturing added 17,000 jobs for the second month in a row.

The news was also positive in the household survey with the unemployment rate falling to 6.1 percent, a new low for the recovery. This was due to people entering the labor force and finding jobs; the employment-to-population ratio rose to 59.0 percent. This is a new high for the recovery, but still 4.0 percentage points below its pre-recession level. Another piece of positive news is that the percentage of people who are unemployed because they voluntarily quit their jobs rose to 9.0 percent, the highest since the collapse of Lehman. This is a sign of growing confidence in the labor market.”

Unfortunately, the economic news is not so encouraging in North Carolina. As Allan Freyer of the Budget and Tax Center pointed out in a news release on Tuesday:

“Despite falling unemployment rates, most of North Carolina’s metro areas are not creating enough jobs to fully recover any time soon from the job losses of the Great Recession, according to new jobless numbers released by the Division of Employment Security this morning. Nine out of the state’s 14 metro areas have yet to reclaim the jobs lost during the recession, and it will take three of them more than a decade to create enough jobs to return to pre-recession levels at the current rate of employment growth.

‘May’s local jobs report makes it clear that the current economic recovery is concentrated in just a handful of metros, bypassing much of the rest of the state. Five years into the current recovery, only a handful of metros are creating jobs fast enough to completely replace to the jobs they lost during the Great Recession,’ said Allan Freyer, Public Policy Analyst with the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. ‘It will take three of the state’s metros more than a decade to return to pre-recession employment levels at the rate of job creation they’ve achieved over the past year. As long as job creation remains weak, we can expect the labor force to continue to decline as workers give up on finding work.’”

 

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