NC unemployment remains unchanged at 5.4 percent

North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in January, unchanged from December, the state Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Over the past year, the state’s jobless rate has fallen 1.2 percentage points and is down from over 11 percent five years ago. The civilian labor force, which includes nonmilitary, non-institutionalized North Carolina residents either working or actively looking for a job, increased to 4,646,793 in January, a 0.5 percent rise from December.

The seasonally adjusted number of non-farm payrolls in the state was unchanged from December to January, according to the report, and had increased by 107,700 jobs, or 2.6 percent, over the last year.

The number of North Carolinians applying for unemployment benefits was 27,017 in January, a rise of 250 from December. Less than 1 percent of initial claims applicants were “attached” to a payroll, meaning they expected to be called back to their jobs.

Nationally, the jobless rate in January was 5.7 percent, the Labor Department reported last month. In February, the latest month for which data is available, the national jobless rate fell to 5.5 percent, though the rate of those participating in the labor force also fell.

Peralta: 704-358-5079;

Twitter: @katieperalta