The unemployment rates for North and South Carolina increased last month to 9.6 percent. In North Carolina, the unemployment rate increased for the first time in a year. State Department of Commerce spokesman Larry Parker said that's despite most industries actually adding jobs.
Here's the catch: "It was the government sector that had a large decrease," Parker said. "That was mainly in local government, which is something you see typically over the summertime as schools let out."
Government layoffs led the way in South Carolina, too. Bruce Yandle is a professor of economics emeritus at Clemson. "Government employment is declining, and it will continue to decline," Yandle said. He said that's because of budget problems plaguing state and local governments - they just can't afford to keep as many employees, let alone hire new ones. He said that's part of what's making this recovery so difficult.
"Those sources that would typically be leading for some growth in employment have withered away, and now it's shrinkage at every level of government," Yandle said. That means it's up to the private sector to bring down the frustratingly high unemployment rates in the Carolinas.
The national rate is 8.3 percent. For the full South Carolina report, click here. And for the North Carolina report, click here.