Charlotte’s unemployment rate falls to 4.7 percent

The Charlotte area jobless rate fell in September to 4.7 percent from 4.9 percent in August, according to a report from the N.C. Commerce Department this week. One year ago, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 5 percent.

Employment in Charlotte’s leisure and hospitality industry dropped by 4,700 jobs over the month, the most of any other sector. Charlotte’s government sector rose by 5,100, according to the report. The area’s overall employment level declined by 1,900 over the month.

An unemployment rate can drop even when jobs are lost because people may have stopped looking for jobs – they’re not counted as unemployed if they have dropped out of the workforce. Economists generally discourage reading too far into one month of data, though, and instead point to year-over-year numbers.

Over the year, the net employment level has risen by 22,400 jobs in the Charlotte metro, according to the report.

Unemployment rates fell in 95 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in September, rose in two and were unchanged in three. Mecklenburg’s jobless rate fell to 4.6 percent in September from 4.7 percent in August.