State jobless rate climbs to 11.1% in Jan.

The state unemployment rate climbed to 11.1 percent in January, according to the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina.

The jobless rate had held steady at 10.9 percent since August 2009. The increase in the unemployment rate comes despite job gains in January.

“North Carolina gained 8,000 jobs in January,” ESC Chairman Lynn Holmes said in a March 10 news release. “However, we must be cautious and realize that we have a long way to go to get back to pre-recession employment levels.”

The North Carolina labor force—consisting of those who are either employed or unemployed and actively seeking jobs—grew by more than 15,000 people in January after seasonal adjustments. The number of employed people increased by nearly 7,000 workers, while more than 8,000 people join the ranks of the unemployed. Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent in January from 10 percent in December.

Trade, transportation and utilities saw the largest gain of any economic sector, adding 8,000 jobs, while the largest decrease belonged to the construction sector, which lost 5,000 jobs.

Despite job growth across several sectors in January, the North Carolina economy has lost 114,200 jobs over the past year, with only education and health services and the government sector adding employees.

—from staff reports


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