8-29-2019 Jobs, labor force still strong

Posted on: August 29th, 2019 by admin


August 29, 2019



By Guy Lucas


Aug 28, 2019 1:35 PM

The local unemployment rate in Caldwell County improved along with rates in most of the rest of the state in July, and it improved more than it did in the rest of the Hickory region.


The local unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 4.6 percent in July, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported.


A total of 70 of the state’s 100 counties saw their unemployment rate drop from June to July, but only 13 had a larger drop than Caldwell.


Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, noted that the drop was due to an increase in the number of county residents with jobs because the size of the labor force – the number of those with jobs plus those who are actively trying to find jobs – did not change much from June, standing at more than 37,300.


“In a summer month, this only serves to confirm the stability and health of our local economy,” she said. “We are hoping to see the growth with more significant numbers extend through the fall months as teachers go back to work and new employees settle on jobs after high school and college graduations.”


For many months now the number of Caldwell residents with jobs has remained at or near a 12-year high, nearly 36,000. The labor force has been over 37,000, an eight-year high, since January.


The unemployment rate in Burke County remained unchanged from June at 4.3 percent.


In Catawba County the unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1 percent.


The rate for the overall Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical area also dropped by 0.1 point to 4.2 percent, leaving the region with the sixth lowest unemployment rate among the state’s 15 metro regions.

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