Mecklenburg County’s unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in November – higher than the nation’s jobless rate – according to figures released Thursday.
The local unemployment rate is an increase of 0.3 percent over October, which had marked the first time since January 2009 that the county had posted a jobless rate below 9 percent.
The local rate, which matches the state’s 9 percent jobless rate, fell slightly from the previous November, dropping 1.1 percent, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
UNC Charlotte economist John Connaughton said the area needs to do better at creating jobs. He says the state has recovered just 44 percent of the jobs it lost in the recession, less than the national average. Mecklenburg County has done better, but only slightly, he said.
And with Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate being higher than the U.S. unemployment rate of 7.7 percent, he said, “Charlotte’s not doing well.”
Statewide, the unemployment rate increased in 81 counties, decreased in 13 and remained flat in six. Thirty-four counties had unemployment rates at or below the state’s rate.
Orange County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in November at 5.7 percent, and Graham County had the highest unemployment rate at 16.3 percent.
Mecklenburg had 498,790 people in the county labor force that month, and 44,852 who were unemployed, according to the state figures.
The Charlotte-Gaston-Rock Hill metropolitan area had an unemployment rate of 9 percent for November, which matches the rate for October but is 1.2 percentage points below November 2011.
Here is a sampling of unemployment rates in other areas of the Charlotte region and beyond compared with November 2011:
• Cabarrus: 8.3 percent; down 1.2 percentage points from November 2011.
• Gaston: 10 percent; down 1.1 points.
• Iredell: 9.1 percent, down 1.7 points.
• Union: 7.8 percent; down 1.1 points.
• Wake: 7.0 percent, down 1 point. Staff Writer April Bethea contributed.
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