State jobless rate closes in on nation’s

Mar. 17, 2014 @ 07:13 PM

The state’s unemployment rate continues to creep down, edging closer to the national jobless rate of 6.6 percent.

North Carolina’s January unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, the state Commerce Department reported Monday. This is the lowest it’s been since August 2008.

The report showed mixed messages regarding the state’s economy. While many sectors lost jobs in January, North Carolina experienced a net gain over the year.

“We’ve been in this kind of transitional period for years now. There are times when I say I wish I could have some news that was all good or all bad. If it was all good or all bad, it would be easy to interpret,” Andrew Brod told The Associated Press. Brod is a senior researcher at the business school at UNC Greensboro.

“You take the numbers as a whole,” Brod said. “They’re not all good or all bad.”

Overall, the state’s private sector lost some 3,700 jobs over the month but gained 72,200 jobs over the year, according to the report. Construction saw the highest gain over the month with a net increase of about 6,400 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector saw the greatest net decrease, losing about 5,600 jobs.

In December, the Tri-County fared worse than the state average. Vance County’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.2 percent, Warren County to 9 percent and Granville to 6.8 percent. All three counties saw decreases from November to December of last year.

The state ranked 33rd in the country in January, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics an improvement over January 2013, when the state’s unemployment rate of 9.5 percent was among the worst in the nation.

 

Contact the writer at vshortley@hendersondispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at @herding_stets.