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Charlotte-area job market expands in April

This chart shows the Charlotte-area’s unemployment trend for the first four months of 2014 and 2015, based on information from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
This chart shows the Charlotte-area’s unemployment trend for the first four months of 2014 and 2015, based on information from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Athena Cao athenacao@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte-area job market continued to expand in April, North Carolina Department of Commerce reported Wednesday.

As employers added 8,100 jobs, the unemployment rate in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan area fell to 5.1 percent from 5.3 percent in March. A year ago it was 5.7 percent.

“Overall the report today is a very strong report,” said Rick Kaglic, senior regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Charlotte branch.

“Charlotte’s economy is looking very good,” Kaglic said, adding that the decreasing unemployment rate is consistent with the increasing number of employees on payrolls reported by the U.S. Department of Labor.

North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was at 5.5 percent in April, up from 5.4 percent in March, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The national rate in April stood at 5.4 percent, the U.S. Department of Labor said.

Improvements in the Charlotte-area labor market are felt across various sectors. Kaglic said the 7.4 percent expansion in the mining, logging and construction industry over the past year has reversed its weak employment records; the 5.1 percent increase in leisure and hospitality employment signals the recovery of consumer confidence and spending; and the 1.6 percent rise in professional and business services reflects Charlotte area’s business vitality.

In Mecklenburg County, the unemployment rate in April slipped to 4.9 percent from 5.1 percent in March.

Neighboring counties also saw falling unemployment rates in April from March:

▪ Union County: 4.3 percent, down from 4.5 percent.

▪ Cabarrus County: 4.7 percent, down from 4.9 percent.

▪ Iredell County: 4.9 percent, down from 5.2 percent.

▪ Lincoln County: 4.8 percent, down from 5.1 percent.

▪ Gaston County: 5.4 percent, down from 5.6 percent.

Cao: 704-358-5384

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