8-5-2019 Numbers show local economy steady

Posted on: August 5th, 2019 by admin

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August 5, 2019

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By Guy Lucas
guylucas@newstopicnews.com

 

Aug 01, 2019 11:04 AM

Seasonal factors related to the end of the school year pushed the unemployment rate higher in June, but Caldwell County’s labor force and number of residents with jobs remained at healthy levels.

 

The county’s unemployment rate climbed 0.5 percentage points to 4.8 percent, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported.

The county’s change matched the median change statewide – the local unemployment rate increased in 97 of the state’s 100 counties – and was in line with previous years. For instance, in June 2018 Caldwell’s rate increased by 0.6 percentage points.

 

Unemployment normally rises in June because of how school systems operate, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.

 

“Summer months typically show declines in employment due to the numbers of teachers who are not 12 month employees. Caldwell’s largest employer is the school system, so those numbers will be seen June through August. That should not be seen as job losses,” she said. “We continue to maintain very strong growth in workforce numbers, which reflects the number of both employed and those looking. We are pleased with these numbers and see strength and confidence in the local economy.”

 

The number of Caldwell residents with jobs has remained at or near a 12-year high, and the labor force continues near an eight-year high.

 

The number of people with jobs dropped by fewer than 100 to just under 35,600, and the labor force – those with jobs plus those actively looking for one – grew by 100 to close to 37,400. The labor force has been over 37,000 since January.

 

Comparing the numbers for June with the same month last year, the county’s unemployment rate in June 2018 was 4.1 percent, 0.7 points lower than in June 2019, but the number of county residents with jobs was more than 400 lower than in June 2019, and the labor force was still well under 37,000.

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