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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News State North Carolina’s Unemployment Rate at 9.6 Percent in September

North Carolina’s Unemployment Rate at 9.6 Percent in September

RALEIGH, N.C. : October 19, 2012 - North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 of a percentage point in September to 9.6 percent. The national rate declined 0.3 of a percentage point to 7.8 percent. North Carolina’s September 2012 unemployment rate is 1.1 percentage point lower than a year ago.
The number of people employed (smoothed seasonally adjusted) increased by 29,232 to 4,225,436 over the month, and by 61,656 over the year. The state unemployment rate in September 2011 was 10.7 percent.
Seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, increased by 100 to 3,953,000 in September. The major industry with the largest over-the-month increase was Professional & Business Services, which gained 6,000, followed by Construction, adding 1,100 jobs. Since September 2010, North Carolina has gained 79,300 nonfarm jobs.
Since September 2011, Total Nonfarm jobs gained 31,500 with the Service Providing sector increasing by 38,900, and the Goods Producing sector decreasing 7,400. The largest over-the-year increase of major industries was in Professional & Business Services at 15,700, followed by Education & Health Services, 12,100, and Trade, Transportation & Utilities, 9,600.
The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2, when the county unemployment rates for September 2012 will be released.
The North Carolina smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in September, decreasing 0.1 of a percentage point from the previous month, and 1.1 percentage point lower than September 2011. Over the month, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 3,576 (0.8%). The civilian labor force grew by 25,656 (0.6%) to 4,673,768. Nationally, September’s unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, decreasing from the previous month’s 8.1 percent. The number of persons unemployed decreased by 456,000 (3.6%), while the civilian labor force grew by 418,000 (0.3%). 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 (3,953,000) showed an increase of 100 (<0.1%) since August 2012, and an increase of 31,500 (0.8%) since September 2011. Private sector employment increased over the month by 1,500 (<0.1%) and grew over the year by 37,000 (1.1%).
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, Professional & Business Services had the largest over-the-month gain in jobs (6,000; 1.2%), followed by Leisure & Hospitality (2,200; 0.5%), Construction (1,100; 0.7%), Education & Health Services (800; 0.1%), and Mining & Logging (100; 1.9%).
Financial Activities (3,600; 1.7%) had the largest over-the-month decrease, followed by Trade, Transportation & Utilities (3,000; 0.4%), Government (1,400; 0.2%), Manufacturing (1,200; 0.3%), Other Services (800; 0.5%), and Information (100; 0.1%). Since September 2011, Professional & Business Services added the largest number of jobs (15,700; 3.1%), followed by Education & Health Services, (12,100; 2.2%), Trade, Transportation & Utilities (9,600; 1.3%), Leisure & Hospitality (6,000; 1.5%), and Financial Activities (1,500; 0.7%).
The September 2012 not seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm employment level of 3,972,700 was 11,900 (0.3%) higher than the August 2012 revised employment level of 3,960,800.
Among the major industries in North Carolina, Government had the largest over-the-month increase in employment at 30,600 (4.6%), followed by Education & Health Services (2,700; 0.5%), Professional & Business Services (2,300; 0.4%), Construction (1,700; 1.0%), and Manufacturing (200; <0.1%). Over the year, the Service Providing sector (all industries except Mining & Logging, Construction, and Manufacturing) showed an increase of 36,200 (1.1%) jobs.
Professional & Business Services experienced the largest employment increase with 14,900 (2.9%), followed by Education & Health Services (11,400; 2.1%), Trade, Transportation & Utilities (9,100; 1.3%), Leisure & Hospitality (6,100; 1.5%), Financial Activities (1,200; 0.6%), and Information (900; 1.3%). Government experienced the largest decrease (6,600; 0.9%), followed by Other Services (800; 0.5%). The Goods Producing sector decreased by 4,500 (0.7%) jobs over the year. Construction declined by 6,700 (3.7%), followed by Mining & Logging (200; 3.5%), while Manufacturing grew by 2,400 (0.5%). Food had the largest amount of manufacturing employment with 52,700 in September 2012.
Food also had the largest net over-the-year increase at 1,400. Other manufacturing industries with over-the-year increases were: Machinery, 1,200; Electrical Equipment, Appliance & Component, 800; Wood Product, 800; Transportation Equipment, 700; Furniture & Related Product, 300; Chemical, 200; and Plastics & Rubber Products, 200.
Average Weekly Hours for manufacturing production workers in September increased by 12 minutes from August’s revised rate of 40.9. Average Hourly Earnings grew by $0.31 to $16.65, as Average Weekly Earnings increased by $16.01 to $684.32. Regular Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance (UI) totaled 42,362 in September, decreasing 9,084 from August.
Forty percent of Initial Claims for September 2012 were “attached” to a payroll, meaning that employees expect to be recalled to their jobs. A total of $100,409,334 in regular UI benefits was paid in September to 95,998 claimants statewide — a decrease of 4,863 claimants since August 2012.
For the 12-month period ending September 2012, $3,077,986,446 was paid from all programs, both state and federal. The UI Trust Fund balance at the end of September was in the red ($2,454,821,495). The State Reserve Fund balance was $32,976,315.
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 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.