4-29-2021 – Local jobless rate drops again

Posted on: April 29th, 2021 by admin

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April 29, 2021

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By Guy Lucas guylucas@newstopicnews.com

Apr 28, 2021 Updated 12 hrs ago

 

Caldwell County’s local unemployment rate dropped for the third consecutive month in March, the longest period it has dropped since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020.

 

The decline of 1 percentage point from February’s 5.8% — which was revised down from the 5.9% reported last month — also was the largest monthly decline since August, when the rate declined by 2.3 percentage points, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported.

 

The 4.8% rate is the lowest it has been since last spring’s business shutdowns caused it to spike from 4.2% in March 2020 to 16.1% in April 2020.

 

Unlike the previous two months, however, March’s decline in Caldwell County was mainly attributable to almost 400 people dropping out of the labor market rather than to job gains. The number of county residents reporting having jobs rose just slightly.

 

The situation was similar in neighboring Burke and Catawba counties, where the local unemployment rate dropped 0.9 percentage points, to 4.4% for Burke and 4.5% for Catawba.

 

The picture varied across the state, with the labor force dropping by nearly 12,000 overall to just under 5 million people and the total number of people with jobs rising by more than 40,000 people. All 100 counties in the state saw the local unemployment rate drop, but like Caldwell and its neighbors, not all had significant gains in jobs.

 

Some parts of the state — the Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Raleigh, Durham and Wilmington metropolitan statistical areas — saw large job growth in the leisure and hospitality industry, which coincided with a loosening of the state’s COVID-19-related restrictions on such businesses as restaurants, bars and movie theaters. Statewide, that industry experienced the largest job losses from pandemic-related business restrictions that began in the spring of 2020.

 

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