8/2/2018 – Caldwell jobless rate rises, but still posts lowest June rate since 2000

Posted on: August 2nd, 2018 by admin


August 2, 2018


By Guy Lucas
(Lenoir) News-Topic


The start of summer and the end of the teaching year sent local unemployment rates up across the state, but Caldwell and most other counties still have lower rates than they did a year ago.


Like 96 other counties, Caldwell County saw its unemployment rise in June, going to 4.1 percent from 3.5 percent in May.


The only counties that saw their unemployment rate drop were Dare, Hyde and Tyrell counties, which are all at or near the Outer Banks and see tourism-related jobs boom each June.


Most counties saw their rate increase by 0.4 to 0.7 percentage points, including neighboring Catawba County, where the rate increased by 0.5 points to 3.8 percent, and Burke County, where it increased 0.6 points to 3.9 percent.


Local unemployment rates typically rise each June after teachers’ annual contracts end, and then drop each September after teachers start the new school year. This is reflected in year-to-year comparisons, which show that the June 2018 unemployment rate was lower than the June 2017 rate in 95 of the 100 counties, including Caldwell, where it was 0.4 percentage points lower. The June rate was also the best since 2000.


Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, noted that Caldwell County continues to hold its position, tied for the 34th-lowest unemployment rate in the state, and better than the state average of 4.2 percent.


“I am really pleased with the continued growth of the workforce. It is a sign of confidence and strength of a growing economy. We have maintained our net gains and documented the largest workforce since October 2012,” she said. “Equally positive is that the June 2018 report documents the highest number of Caldwell residents employed for a June report since 2007.”


The overall unemployment rate for the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical area was 3.9 percent in June, down 0.4 points from a year earlier and tied with Charlotte and Wilmington for fourth-lowest among the state’s 15 metro areas. Asheville had the lowest rate, 3.4 percent.


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