Friday, March 27, 2009

N.C.'s unemployment rate hits new recorded high

The Carolinas were hit with historic unemployment news today, as North Carolina's unemployment rate hit a new recorded high, and South Carolina's came in even higher.

The news comes a day after a poor U.S. job loss report that has economists pessimistic about the short term outlook for the economy. Other indicators, however, show a possible leveling out of job cuts.

Locally, North Carolina's unemployment rate rose to 10.7 percent in February, an increase from 9.7 in January, the N.C. Employment Security Commission said today. The state's highest previous jobless rate was 10.2 percent in February 1983. N.C.'s records go back only to 1976.

South Carolina's rate rose to 11 percent from 10.3 percent last month. The state had 241,000 people unemployed in February, the S.C. Employment Security Commission said.

The news comes amid a mix of encouraging and somber reports this week. Just this morning, the government said consumers increased spending for a second straight month in February even though their incomes slipped due to continuing layoffs.

Those job losses were reported yesterday - an increase for the 10th straight week nationally, with the total number of people claiming benefits jumping to 5.56 million, the highest total on records dating back to 1967.

The unemployment numbers have prompted analysts and economists to shrug off the more positive reports, including housing sales and manufacturing news, and declare a hard road ahead. We asked one economist, UNC Charlotte's Carol Swartz, how she sorts through conflicting indicators.

Says Swartz: "The current economic crisis has focused attention on job cuts and unemployment. During a recession, the unemployment rate goes up for two reasons. One is people who lost their jobs are now looking for work. The other reason is that additional people -- homemakers, teenagers, retirees -- begin looking for work, adding to the number of unemployed people.

A key indicator for her: average hours worked per week.

"When the economic recovery starts, businesses see their orders and sales increase," she says. "At first, no one knows whether this is a recovery so businesses increase average hours worked per week, using overtime if necessary. Only when businesses are confident that the higher volume of orders will last, they hire new workers and the unemployment rate begins to go down."

Is that happening yet? Nationwide, there are signs of some leveling out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the seasonally adjusted weekly average hours worked decreased by 0.1 hours in each month from August through December 2008. Provisional data for January and February 2009 showed no change in the average work week.

It's not the increase in average hours worked per week that Swartz says will signal the beginnings of a recovery. The leveling out of the hours worked could signal an impending increase, however, another sign that the economy is ready to recover.


Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me how you are only reporting the negative, while just yesterday Fidelity .com was reporting that the recession was leveling and the end is in sight. Good grief people, you are responsible for the mess we are in now. What if the people who read this crap, take it seriously and stop spending because you scared them into it? The recession goes deeper and deeper. You have a responsibility to help clean up this mess, now get to it. Tell the positives also.

Anonymous said...

The governemt is lying The true unemployment rate is much higher. See

Anonymous said...

Guess folks are waiting for the new administrations solar panel work force to kick in. Ceptin' the panels will be made in China, and installed by undocumented workers, whose non- citizen status children we will run through college on your tax dollars. Oh yeah the solar panel plan won't work either, what's a little socialism here and there to brighten up the day?

oh well at least we have an amply supply of Funions and Slurpees to consume and All Temperature Cheer to wash the stains away with .

The Independence Institute asked the Denver Museum of Science and Nature to provide certain statistical information regarding the now-famous solar array. Specifically, the Institute asked for:

1 ) Two years worth of electric bills prior to the installation of the solar array,
2 ) All electric bills following the completion of the installation.

The Museum denied those requests.

Why? Well, they were supposed to provide a "significant" amount of electricity. Turns out it's less than 5%. Bill for the solar array = $750,000. Payoff? Over 100 years. Lifespan of the solar panels? 20 years.

Anonymous said...

The split-up of America is getting closer just tacking on 3 trillion more debt excluding the upcoming 3 trillion budget to the national debt Bush left in the most reckless 8 yrs in US history and Obama has followed up to spend twice as much as the 1.5 trillion the IRS takes in annually and 20% of the 15 trillion GDP gross domestic production in all the nation.

Some may inquire how splitting up America can help?

Its called micro management from the massive and ever growing wasteful bottomless pit DC centralized facist monster who collectively is reportedly in debt 100 trillion for all debt yet socialists continue to spend in double speed regardless of the massive debt as the Fed prints trillions in currency.

All empires have fallen under their own weight and imploded in past history none excluded. Rome was too spread and could not control or contain its borders just like America. Same for the Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek empires. Modern empires include British, Japanese, German, Russian all gone now.
Today the only world empire is America.

The US government monster went off the gold standard 40 yrs ago after 200 yrs that required all printed currency to be backed by gold at Ft Knox Ky.

Europe has a total of 48 nations. Africa has 53 nations. Asia the has 53. South America has 13 and roughly the size of the USA.
There are 20 island nations in the Carribeans.

There are a total of 192 nations on earth.

There will be much resistance from behind to stop the breakup and possibly massive bloodshed to stop it from the government but just like the largest empire ever to split with the USSR in 1989 with its 350 million broke into 15 nations who today are thriving and independent.

Breaking up is hard to do. Outrage is brewing. Blood is boiling. Its the best thing to preserve the integrity of the people from the 65% overtaxing massive war machine world expansive central out of control monster facist federal socialist empire government.

Stop hey whats that sound everybodys look whats going down... We are on the eve of destruction.

Anonymous said...

Stop whining about the Federal and state government. Stop waiting for them to solve problems because they won't.

Mecklenburg and surrounding counties have to take it upon themselves to get businesses to move here. Many smart people who live here can make that happen. Mayor, city council, and civic leaders need to stop flapping their jaws and act NOW!!!!

Anonymous said...

The government will take and take until we as a people rise up a take back this country.