MEDIA RELEASE: North Carolina jobless picture experiencing an uneven recovery

58 of the state’s counties saw jobless rates increase since January 2011
RALEIGH (March 20, 2012) – North Carolina’s jobless picture is experiencing an uneven recovery, according to new local-level unemployment data released by the Division of Employment Security today. Despite employment levels rising in nine out of twelve metro areas in the last year, 58 of the state’s counties saw their jobless rates increase since January 2011.
Additionally, the number of counties with an unemployment rate higher than 10% actually increased from 75 in 2011 to 80 in 2012, despite an overall drop in the state’s unemployment rate from 10.5% to 10.2%.
“The direction for the state’s labor market is clearly positive,” said Allan Freyer, Policy Analyst with the NC Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. “But that improvement appears to be spread very unevenly across North Carolina, with some counties doing fine and others beginning to fall backwards.”
Because all local-level data released by the DES is not adjusted to reflect seasonal employment patterns, it is difficult to assess changes in unemployment on a monthly basis. Instead, comparing this type of unadjusted data year-over-year allows us to make an apples-to-apples assessment and take into account seasonally related differences in hiring patterns.
“Local communities continue to struggling with a lack of jobs and particular attention by policymakers to targeted job creation will be needed for NC to truly sustain the official economic recovery,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Allan Freyer, Policy Analyst, BTC,, 919.856.2151; Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director, BTC,, 919.861.1468.