For the Third Straight Month, Employment in NC Falls
For the third month in a row, the number of people employed in North Carolina has decreased dramatically. Although McCrory has recently been capitalizing on the lower unemployment rate, it is only dropping because people are leaving the work force. As one economist puts it, "Yes, this is a negative trend".
The unemployment rate decreased as well, though that was due entirely to a decline in the labor force, a measure of all those in the state who are working or looking for work. Because the entire pool of those looking for work statistically shrank, so did the unemployment rate.
In total numbers, North Carolina had an estimated 12,600 fewer workers in August than in July. The unemployment rate decreased to 4.6 percent, according to the August statewide jobs report released Tuesday by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
"Yes, this is a negative trend," said Mike Walden, a North Carolina State University economist. "The jobless rate can drop simply because individuals without employment stop looking for work - and therefore aren't counted as unemployed by the major unemployment rate measure."
In a released statement, Gov. Pat McCrory ignored the total employed figure, and commented only on the unemployment rate.
"North Carolina has seen one of the largest decreases in unemployment in the nation since 2013 and we are home to one of the fastest growing economies in the nation," McCrory said through a released statement. "With a declining unemployment rate and more than 300,000 new jobs added, it is clear that our pro-growth economic policies continue to make North Carolina one of the best places to live, work and visit."