Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Charlotte area unemployment rate ticked up to 6.5 percent in May

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/01/19/22/t7C1T.Em.138.jpeg|274
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Jeanease Lucas, training coordinator for Charlotte Works, helps clients navigate through the NCWorks Online site to look for a job. The Charlotte area’s unemployment rate rose slightly in May, new data show.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/01/19/22/tqH6r.Em.138.jpeg|209
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Jean-Chris Miller, resource associate at Charlotte Works, explains how to navigate through the NCWorks Online site.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/01/19/22/1ukb00.Em.138.jpeg|235
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Job-seekers receive instruction at Charlotte Works on how to create and update their resumes.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/01/19/22/GTURL.Em.138.jpeg|191
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Works client Doug Pashoian, 48, seeks to update his skills and refresh his resume as he looks for a change in his career.

The Charlotte area’s jobless rate ticked upward slightly in May, as it did in all the state’s metropolitan areas, but remains nearly 2 percentage points lower than the previous year, new data show.

The unemployment rate for the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, S.C., area stood at 6.5 percent in May, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce. It was 8.3 percent in May 2013.

For Mecklenburg County, the May jobless rate stood at 6.7 percent, down from 8.2 percent in May 2013 but up slightly from the 6.3 percent rate in April.

The area showed strong year-over-year growth in the professional and business services sector, which was up 8,100 jobs, an increase of 5.7 percent. Trade, transportation and utilities jumped by 7,300 jobs, or 4.1 percent. The sector that includes the closely watched construction industry jumped 7.1 percent, adding 2,900 jobs.

The left-leaning N.C. Budget & Tax Center called the unemployment figures the latest proof that Charlotte and Raleigh are faring far better in the recession’s wake than the state’s more rural areas.

While Charlotte and Raleigh have both gained more than 21,000 jobs over the past year, Fayetteville lost 600 jobs and Rocky Mount added just 200, a job growth rate that would require another four decades to replace all the jobs lost during the recession.

“May’s local jobs report makes it clear that the current economic recovery is concentrated in just a handful of metros, bypassing much of the rest of the state,” said Allan Freyer, an analyst with the center.

The state is gaining about 5,500 jobs a month, said John Quinterno, principal of South by North Strategies, a Chapel Hill-based research firm.

At that rate, North Carolina won’t match its pre-recession payroll jobs level until early next year.

“We’re grinding away at more or less the same basic pace,” he said. Assuming the state matches its pre-recession job levels early next year, “that means it would have taken a little over seven years to get back to the number of jobs we had in 2007. That’s not normal, that’s not healthy, that’s not the sign of a good healthy labor market that’s generating jobs for people who want to go to work.”

Frazier: 704-358-5145; Twitter: @Ericfraz
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
CharlotteObserver.com