Jobs and unemployment are the most important economic factors for most people. Dr. Mike Walden, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist, says a recent jobs report for North Carolina is encouraging.
“We are probably going to do this every month, because we do get a new job report every month for North Carolina and, of course, the job market is very, very important to most people right now.
“The last report we had for the job market in June was actually encouraging. We saw the unemployment rate fall from 10.4 to 10 percent. We also saw the number of jobs that employers are offering go up — and this was even after accounting for the reduction in Census jobs.
“However, a much broader survey of jobs where you actually go to households and survey them at their home showed a slight reduction in jobs and also a reduction in people looking for work. So that’s a negative.
“In terms of where we are compared to the nation, we still have a higher unemployment rate than the nation but we are getting closer. In fact a year ago … North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 1.5 percentage points higher than the national rate. Now it’s .5 percentage point higher, and I think we will actually be the same at the end of the year.”