June Jobless Rate Shows Slight Increase
School is out for the summer, which means an influx of students into the Moore County labor force and typically a small uptick in the county’s June unemployment rate.
This year was no different, as the rate rose from 8.6 percent in May to 8.9 percent in June.
“We see this almost every summer,” said Gene Norton, manager of the N.C. Division of Employment Security (DES) office in Aberdeen. “Aside from the students looking for summer jobs, I don’t see anything that’s happened in the past month or two to cause any concern.”
In fact, Norton noted that this year’s rate was less than the June 2011 rate of 9.5 percent.
“Long range, I still think we’re looking at an improving economy and an improving job market,” he said.
Moore County had a labor force of 38,560 in June, of which 35,110 had jobs, leaving 3,450 people unemployed.
Moore County fared better than all of its neighbors except Chatham County, which had an unemployment rate in June of 7.3 percent. Hoke and Randolph counties were at 9.6 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.
Cumberland, Harnett, Lee, Montgomery, Richmond and Scotland counties all had double-digit unemployment rates in June.
Unemployment rates increased in Moore and 83 other North Carolina counties in June, decreased in 11 counties and remained the same in five.
Overall, the state rate was 9.4 percent for the third straight month. Currituck County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in June at 5.3 percent. Scotland had the highest unemployment rate at 17.6 percent.
Dale Carroll, deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce, said unemployment rates declined in 91 counties when compared with the same month last year.
“Over-the-year numbers are showing a positive trend,” Carroll said. “Job announcements continue to be made across our state, and we remain focused on getting people back to work.”
Norton said the seasonal change usually affects businesses that align with the school calendar.
“Oftentimes, they cut back employees,” he said. “We’ve also seen increases in temporary layoffs and that’s due mainly to companies taking a week’s vacation. We’ve seen an increase in the number of business owners filing temporary unemployment claims for their employees.”
Nationally, employment was up 80,000 in June, after gains in April and May averaged 73,000.
“June job gains were concentrated in business services, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality,” John E. Silvia, chief economist for Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, said in a recent newsletter. “Weak hiring in education and health services, as well as retail trade, suggests below-trend gains in employment going forward.”
While Silvia was upbeat about net job gains, he noted that the pace remains disappointing compared with prior economic recoveries.
“We remain of the view that the U.S. economy continues to move forward at a subpar pace of growth,” he said. “This pace will continue to incentivize households, private business and governments at all levels to continue to restructure in order to be efficient at a slower pace of growth.”
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or tnatt@ thepilot.com.
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