North Carolina sees growth prior to holidays

Nov. 24, 2013 @ 09:14 AM

Over the last four months, North Carolina has seen an improvement in its job market.

On Friday, the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Labor and Economic Analysis Division released the September and October jobs report and the state reduced its unemployment from 8.7 percent in August to 8 percent in October.

The national unemployment increased to 7.3 percent — the same rate as in August — but did have a slight decline to 7.2 percent in September.

The state was forced to release two months together because of the government shutdown in September.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics was shutdown and the data was not available," said Larry Parker, spokesman for the Department of Commerce. "Every state had this kind of delay."

In September, the state added 7,900 jobs and had an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent. Additional data was not provided in the report.

However, in October the state saw significant job growth by adding 22,000 jobs across the state.

Over the month, education and health services had the largest gains, increasing jobs by 7,600 while professional and business services added 6,4000 and government had an increase of 6,200 jobs.

"We are encouraged by the short-term job growth," Parker said. "But it is important to look at the long-term and we see several sectors with double-digit gains."

Over the year, the state has gained 80,100 jobs with professional and business services seeing the most growth by adding 27,000 new jobs.

Trade, transportation and utilities along with education and health services grew by 18,000 and 16,300 respectively.

The largest decline over the year has been in the construction sector which has lost 3,600 jobs. Government, mining and logging and other services decreased by 600 total jobs.

With the holidays approaching and the tradition of increased temporary seasonal hiring in the retail sector, Parker said the state remains encouraged by state trends.

"October was a positive month and most of the gains were because industries were coming back," Parker said. 'We will certainly eye the retail sector in November to see if there is a major increase."

The next report issued will be on Dec. 5 for individual county unemployment rates. Parker said the state will include September and October county unemployment figures in that report.