6/28/2018 – Caldwell employment hits 10-year high in May

Posted on: June 28th, 2018 by admin

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June 28, 2018

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By Guy Lucas
(Lenoir) News-Topic

 

Caldwell County continued its steady progress on jobs in May, with the number of residents who have jobs hitting its highest point since April 2008, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis reported.

 

The local unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 percentage point to 3.5 percent, but as has been the case in recent months the larger news in the state’s report was the number of those who are employed, which grew by about 200 to 35,645.

 

It was another in what has become a string of consecutive months of strong employment growth, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.

 

“I am most impressed that Caldwell County has added nearly 1,000 to the ranks of the employed since December 2017, 945 to be exact. We are fast approaching 36,000 employed, a number we haven’t seen since 2006,” she said.

 

The size of the county’s labor force – the number of those with jobs plus the number actively seeking jobs – also nearly topped 37,000. The May number of 36,939 is the highest since October 2012, when it was 37,095, according to statistics maintained by the Federal Reserve.

 

Murray also noted that Caldwell has now had 96 consecutive months – or eight unbroken years – of monthly unemployment reports in which that month’s unemployment rate was lower than it was in the same month the previous year.

 

That continuous improvement has Caldwell now tied for the 32nd-best unemployment rate among North Carolina’s 100 counties.

 

Neighboring Burke County’s unemployment rate also dropped by 0.1 percentage point, to 3.3 percent. Catawba County’s rate held steady at 3.3 percent.

 

The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical area’s overall unemployment rate of 3.3 percent is tied with Durham-Chapel Hill’s for third-lowest among the state’s 15 metro areas, behind Asheville’s 2.9 percent and Raleigh’s 3.2.

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