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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News State NC Unemployment Rate at 9.7 Percent in August

NC Unemployment Rate at 9.7 Percent in August

RALEIGH, N.C. : September 21, 2012 - North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 of a percentage point in August to 9.7 percent. The national rate declined 0.2 of a percentage point to 8.1 percent. North Carolina’s August 2012 unemployment rate is 1.0 percentage point lower than a year ago.
“Looking at the data long-term, North Carolina has added nearly 98,000 nonfarm jobs since January 2010,” said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. “Our workforce partners and our employment service offices across our state are committed to helping employers put citizens back to work in North Carolina.”
Seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, increased by 1,100 to 3,953,400 in August. The major industry with the largest over-the-month increase was Government, which gained 8,400.
Since August 2011, Total Nonfarm jobs gained 27,800 with the Service Providing sector increasing by 31,700, and the Goods Producing sector decreasing 3,900. The largest over-the-year increase of major industries was in Trade, Transpor¬tation and Utilities at 12,600, followed by Education & Health Services at 10,400, and Professional & Business Services, 7,000.
The number of people employed (smoothed seasonally adjusted) decreased by 5,801 to 4,196,322 over the month, but increased by 40,635 over the year. The state unemployment rate in August 2011 was 10.7 percent.
The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 28, when the county unemployment rates for August 2012 will be released.
It is important to note that industry employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns. While seasonal adjustment factors are applied to the data, these factors may not be fully capturing the seasonal trend. Therefore, when interpreting the industry employment changes, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in both the smoothed seasonally adjusted series and not seasonally adjusted series.
The North Carolina smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in August, increasing 0.1 of a percentage point from the previous month, and 1.0 percentage point lower than August 2011. Over the month, the number of persons unemployed increased by 5,952 (1.3%). The civilian labor force grew by 151 (<0.1%) to 4,647,964. Nationally, August’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent, decreasing from the previous month’s 8.3 percent. The number of persons unemployed decreased by 250,000 (2.0%), while the civilian labor force fell 368,000 (0.2%). Starting with the January 2012 national labor force statistics, the BLS incorporated new population controls that reflect the results of the 2010 Census. The BLS did not revise historical data based on these population controls; therefore, labor force statistics for 2012 are not directly comparable with previous years’ data. Seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm industry employment (3,953,400) showed an increase of 1,100 (<0.1%) since July 2012, and an increase of 27,800 (0.7%) since August 2011. Private sector employment declined over the month by 7,300 (0.2%) and grew over the year by 31,600 (1.0%). It is important to note that industry employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns. Seasonal adjustment factors are applied to the data. However, these factors may not be fully capturing the seasonal trend. Therefore, when interpreting the changes in industry employment, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in both the seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted series. Of the major industries for which payroll data are seasonally adjusted, Government had the largest over-the-month gain in jobs (8,400; 1.2%), followed by Other Services (1,200; 0.8%), Professional & Business Services (800; 0.2%), Education & Health Services (600; 0.1%) and Information (300; 0.4%). Construction (3,400; 2.0%) had the largest over-the-month decrease, followed by Trade, Transportation & Utilities (2,500; 0.3%), Manufacturing (2,300; 0.5%), Financial Activities (1,000; 0.5%) and Leisure & Hospitality (1,000; 0.2%). Mining & Logging remained the same over the month. Since August 2011, Trade, Transportation & Utilities added the largest number of jobs (12,600; 1.7%), followed by Education & Health Services, (10,400; 1.9%), Professional & Business Services (7,000; 1.4%), Manufacturing (4,200; 1.0%) and Leisure & Hospitality (3,200; 0.8%).
The August 2012 not seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm employment level of 3,961,300 was 67,700 (1.7%) higher than the July 2012 revised employment level of 3,893,600. Among the major industries in North Carolina, Government had the largest over-the-month increase in employment at 66,000 (11.0%), followed by Professional & Business Services (4,600; 0.9%), Education & Health Services (2,500; 0.5%), Other Services (400; 0.3%) and Information (100; 0.1%). Over the year, the Service Providing sector (all industries except Mining & Logging, Construction, and Manufacturing) showed an increase of 69,400 (2.1%) jobs. Trade, Transportation & Utilities experienced the largest employment increase with 12,100 (1.7%), followed by Education & Health Services (9,600; 1.8%), Professional & Business Services (6,500; 1.2%), Leisure & Hospitality (3,400; 0.8%), Financial Activities (1,900; 0.9%), and Other Services (200; 0.1%). Government experienced the largest decrease (4,200; 0.6%), while Information remained flat over the year. The Goods Producing sector decreased by 4,300 (0.7%) jobs over the year. Construction declined by 8,000 (4.4%), followed by Mining & Logging (200; 3.5%), while Manufacturing grew by 3,900 (0.9%).
Food had the largest amount of manufacturing employment with 52,800 in August 2012. Machinery had the largest net over-the-year increase at 2,500. Other manufacturing industries with over-the-year increases were: Food, 1,200; Computer & Electronic Product, 800; Electrical Equipment, Appliance & Component, 800; Fabricated Metal Product, 700;
Transportation Equipment, 600; Furniture & Related Product, 500; Beverage & Tobacco Product, 300; Plastic & Rubber Products, 200; and Wood Product, 100.
Average Weekly Hours for manufacturing production workers in August increased by 30 minutes from July’s revised rate of 40.4. Average Hourly Earnings fell by $0.23 to $16.34, as Average Weekly Earnings decreased by $1.12 to $668.31. Regular Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance (UI) totaled 51,446 in August, decreasing 12,768 from July. Forty-one percent of Initial Claims for August 2012 were “attached” to a payroll, meaning that employees expect to be recalled to their jobs. A total of $98,955,826 in regular UI benefits was paid in August to 100,861 claimants statewide - a decrease of 10,111 claimants since July 2012. For the 12-month period ending August 2012, $3,124,052,503 was paid from all programs, both state and federal. The UI Trust Fund balance at the end of August was in the red ($2,370,418,386). The State Reserve Fund balance was $119,851,872.
The N.C. Department of Commerce has created the Labor and Economic Analysis Division. This division brings together economists, analysts, and statisticians that previously worked in the Labor Market Information division of the former Employment Security Commission, and the staff of the Policy, Research, and Strategic Planning division of the NC Department of Commerce.