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Charlotte-area unemployment rate rises to 5.9 percent

A now hiring sign is posted in the an Express store
A now hiring sign is posted in the an Express store Getty Images

The Charlotte metropolitan area’s unemployment rate jumped in June as the overall employment level in the region fell by thousands of jobs, mostly in the government sector.

The area’s jobless rate rose to 5.9 percent in June from 5.6 percent in May, the N.C. Commerce Department reported Wednesday. In June 2014, the rate stood at 6.3 percent. The Charlotte metro region includes Concord and Gastonia.

Net employment in Charlotte fell by 7,300 in June, the biggest decrease of all metro areas in the state. The largest month-over-month drop in employment was in the government sector, which lost 12,100 jobs. The biggest gain was in professional and business services, which added 2,500.

Over the year, with 35,300 jobs added, Charlotte, the largest metro in the state, has also had the largest net employment increase over the last year.

Earlier this month, the Commerce Department reported that North Carolina’s unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent in June from 5.7 percent in May as the overall employment level decreased statewide, mainly driven by a decrease in government jobs. The national rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent in June as more people left the labor force.

Mecklenburg County’s unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent in June from 5.5 percent in May as the overall size of the labor force decreased and more people became unemployed, the report showed.

Across the state, the unemployment rate rose in 95 of the 100 counties, the department reported. Here are the rates in some area counties:

▪ Cabarrus County’s rate rose to 5.5 percent from 5.2 percent

▪ Gaston County’s rate rose to 6.3 percent from 6 percent

▪ Iredell County’s rate rose to 5.8 percent from 5.6 percent

▪ Lincoln County’s rate rose to 5.8 percent from 5.4 percent

▪ Union County’s rate rose to 5.1 percent from 4.9 percent

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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