8/31/2017 – Caldwell County sees increase in workforce, number of employed in July

Posted on: August 31st, 2017 by admin


August 31, 2017


By Guy Lucas
(Lenoir) News-Topic


Despite seasonal factors related to school-year jobs ending, the number of Caldwell County residents with jobs went up in July, according to the state’s most recent monthly report.


The county’s unemployment rate went up by 0.3 percentage points from June to 4.5 percent, with the number of Caldwell residents reporting they did not have jobs climbing by more than 100 to more than 1,600, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported. That increase is likely due to the end of the school year – the total number of government jobs in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical area dropped by 2,800 from June to July.


That partially masked the fact that the number of people reporting they have jobs went up by almost 100, to more than 34,600, and the total workforce – the number of those with jobs plus those who are actively looking for one – went up by more than 200 to just under 36,300, noted Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray.


“We anticipated that this would be our highest (unemployment) rate based on the teacher numbers, but the still strong and improving story is the increased number of people working,” Murray said. “The fall reports will show the gains made in new job creation and the stability and growth of Caldwell’s economy.”


Counties across the state saw similar effects on their unemployment rate from the end of the school year. The unemployment rate rose in 93 of the state’s 100 counties from June to July. It decreased only in three coastal counties that benefit from summer beach tourism.


In neighboring Burke County the rate went up by the same amount as in Caldwell, 0.3 points, rising to 4.3 percent, and in Catawba it went up 0.2 points to 4.2 percent.


The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area’s overall unemployment rate of 4.3 percent tied with Winston-Salem for the sixth best among the state’s 15 metropolitan statistical areas.


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