10-1-2021 – Start of school year boosted jobs

Posted on: October 4th, 2021 by admin

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October 1, 2021

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By Guy Lucas PAXTON MEDIA GROUP

Sep 29, 2021

 

The return of school-related jobs helped nudge the local unemployment rate down in August, according to a state report.

 

Caldwell County’s unemployment dropped by 0.2 of a percentage point to 4.4%, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported.

 

That reflects the start of the school year in August and the resumption of related jobs that are not year-round. Statewide, local unemployment rates dropped in 93 of the 100 counties and increased in just two, and all but two of the 100 had a small change, between 0.1 and 0.3 of a percentage point.

 

Burke County’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 and Catawba’s by 0.2, with both reaching 4.1%.

 

The unemployment rate in the overall Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical area dropped 0.2 to 4.1%, remaining the fifth-lowest among the state’s 15 metro areas.

 

Caldwell’s labor force grew slightly, remaining well above 36,000 but short of its pre-pandemic level. Burke and Catawba saw similar small increases in their labor force, although statewide the labor force slightly shrank.

 

An increase in the labor force is generally seen as a good sign because it indicates that some of the long-term unemployed, who do not get counted in the unemployment rate because they had stopped looking for work, gained enough confidence in the economy to begin seeking work.

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