North Carolina’s unemployment rate hasn’t moved much in the past several months as the state continues its slow trek towards job growth.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce reports a July jobless rate of 6.5 percent. That’s one-tenth higher than the month before, but 1.6 percentage points lower than a year ago.
John Quinterno with South by North Strategies in Chapel Hill says those numbers would be good except for the fact that the labor force also shrank in the past year, by more than 18,000 people.
“The numbers may vary a little bit from month to month. But the basic pattern has been one of very incremental job growth," said Quinterno.
Quinterno says several years into the recovery the state still has fewer payroll jobs than it had before the recession began the end of 2007.
The national unemployment rate sits at 6.2 percent.
The sector reporting the biggest gain in jobs in North Carolina over the past year was professional and business services. The biggest loss was in government.