Coverage of the latest labor market release on Friday has focused on the fact that the state has replaced all the jobs lost in the Great Recession, a milestone achieved after nearly seven years since that recession started. There is still much progress to be made to achieve a full recovery in the labor market.
The latest calculation of the number of missing workers in North Carolina, those who would be looking for work if employment opportunities were stronger, makes clear the challenges that persist. There are nearly 290,000 workers missing from North Carolina’s labor market. If these workers were included in the unemployment rate, that rate would be 12.5 percent, nearly twice the official unemployment rate.