10-3-2019 Job numbers hold steady

Posted on: October 3rd, 2019 by admin


September 22, 2019



By Guy Lucas


Oct 02, 2019 3:19 PM

Caldwell County’s employment figures changed just slightly from July to August, and the unemployment remained unchanged at 4.6 percent, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported.


About a third of the state’s counties – 34 out of 100 – had no change in their unemployment rate, including Catawba County, where the rate remained at 4.1 percent, according to the report. Burke County was among the 26 where the rate increased; Burke’s increase was 0.1 points to 4.3 percent.


August is the last month of summer vacation for public school employees who are not on a year-round contract, and there typically are not large changes in the unemployment reports for August.


The size of Caldwell County’s labor force and the numbers of those both with jobs and looking for jobs all declined slightly from July, which follows historical patterns for August, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.


“August is historically the month that shows the lowest employment of the year. It is a direct response to seasonal fluctuations of the workforce. I had fully expected Caldwell’s employment to drop as it usually does and had expected the workforce to drop as well,” she said.


Murray noted that there has been “significant growth” in employment each year for nearly 10 years.


“Our projections are that employment will now grow from August, and we would like to see employment crest the 36,000 mark,” she said. That would surpass a 12-year high.


The unemployment rate for the overall Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical area in August also remained unchanged at 4.2 percent, tied with Winston-Salem for the sixth-lowest rate among the state’s 15 metro areas.

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