3/18/2018 – Caldwell one of the few counties to report no change to jobless rate

Posted on: March 18th, 2018 by admin


March 18, 2018


By Guy Lucas
(Lenoir) News-Topic


No news, in this case, may be good news.


For the third consecutive month, Caldwell County’s unemployment rate in January was 4.5 percent, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported.


But since the local unemployment rate increased in 93 of the state’s 100 counties from December to January – including Burke County, where the rate went from 4.2 to 4.3 percent – and it normally increases in Caldwell County too because of seasonal factors, holding steady is a positive sign, said Deborah Murray, executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission. Catawba County’s rate held steady at 4.1 percent.


“Typically we see an increase in unemployment rates in January … but ours held steady. That is ground gained,” she said. “We begin 2018 with the largest number of people employed in 10 years.”


The total number of Caldwell residents reporting that they had jobs was just under 35,000.


Caldwell County is tied with five other counties for the 33rd lowest unemployment rate in the state, reflecting the county’s steady improvement in comparison to other counties since having one of the state’s highest unemployment rates in 2010.


That improvement is reflected in comparisons of the local unemployment rate from year to year. Murray pointed out that for January only one third of North Carolina’s counties improved since January 2017 by more than 1 percentage point, and one of those was Caldwell, where unemployment in January 2017 was 5.6 percent.


“And because we see continued strength and growth among our industries, 2018 will be a still stronger year for employment in Caldwell business and industry,” she said.


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