NC Unemployment Rate

Ben Bradford / WFAE

North Carolina’s unemployment rate once again ticked up slightly in June, the fourth straight month of rising unemployment. The rate now stands at 5.8 percent, up from May’s 5.7 percent and February’s 5.3 percent rates. It’s also 0.5 percent above the national average.


North Carolina has recovered the jobs it lost during the deep economic downturn,  according to the state Commerce Department's latest unemployment report. Here's some context:

The recession got started a little late in North Carolina – job growth continued until February 2008. That's the month when employment peaked. Then North Carolina crashed through 24 straight months – two years – of job losses.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The North Carolina Commerce Department announced Monday that the state's unemployment rate declined in March to 6.3 percent. A federal department also released data recently that show how North Carolina's job growth stacks up against other states.


Bytemarks/Flickr

Later today, the US Senate is expected to vote on extending long term unemployment benefits.  If passed, the bill will move to the House of Representatives. And if it becomes law, it would affect North Carolina more than any other state. 


North Carolina's unemployment rate declined slightly in February to 9.4 percent. But the report released Thursday shows that unemployment is no longer steadily declining year to year.

Back in February 2010, the unemployment rate peaked in the state at 11.3 percent.

Then North Carolina started slowly but steadily recovering from the recession. In February 2011, the rate was 10.3 percent. A year later, 9.5 percent. And you could see those kind of year-over-year improvements no matter what month you looked at - at least, until this year.

Bytemarks/Flickr

North Carolina’s unemployment rate got worse in August, while South Carolina’s remained steady but well above the national average.

If you’re looking for bright spots in the North Carolina unemployment report, well, good luck.

"This is undoubtedly a disappointing jobs report," Allan Freyer said. He's an analyst with the N.C. Budget and Tax Center. "We see a weakening private sector and long-term decay in public sector employment as well."