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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

North Carolina's Unemployment Rate Creeps Up Again; Many Have Given Up!

Triangle's unemployment rate creeps up to 8 percent

Unemployment in the Research Triangle area increased to 8 percent in December, up slightly from November and four-tenths of a percentage point higher than a year earlier.

The seasonally adjusted rate was even higher at 8.3 percent, according to data provided by East Carolina University.

Statewide, the number of people working fell by 32,021 to just over 4 million. The number of those unemployed climbed by 12,412 to 440,022.

The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits climbed to 39,445, up 1,368 from November. A year ago, new claims were 47,056. In December 2009, initial claims totaled 54,989.

The difference in the numbers of working and unemployed includes factors such as people who have dropped out of the work force, are no longer seeking work or receiving benefits, or retired or moved out of state.

Durham-Chapel Hill market added a net 300 jobs in December, but the number of jobs was down 1,500 from a year ago.

In Raleigh-Cary, employers cut a net 300 jobs. Employment was down 7,700, or 1.5 percent, from December 2010.

Fayetteville (600) and Rocky Mount (200) added jobs in December. Goldsboro lost 200.

The jobs numbers from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division as reported Wednesday are not seasonally adjusted. Economists consider numbers adjusted for seasonal factors as a more reliable indicator of the job market’s real condition.

The unadjusted jobless rate for the Triangle in November was 7.8 percent. The adjusted rate was 8 percent.

Across the state, unemployment increased in 93 of 100 counties. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent. The adjusted rate was 9.9 percent.

Unemployment climbed in 13 of the state’s 14 major metropolitan areas. Only in Burlington did the rate decline, dropping to 9.7 percent from 10.3 percent.

The Durham-Chapel Hill metro area had the lowest rate at 7.5 percent. Raleigh-Cary's unemployment rate was 8 percent.

Rocky Mount’s rate of 12.9 percent was the highest.

The jobless rate for January will be released on March 13.

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Sources: WRAL, Google Maps

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