Labor Market Overview, December 2018

North Carolina United States
Total Employment 4,536,400 150,263,000
Total Employment Same Month Last Year 4,449,200 147,625,000
Unemployment Rate 3.6% 3.9%
Employment Change in Last Year 2.0% 1.8%
Employment Change since Start of the Great Recession 8.9% 1.8%
Share of Residents Working 58.8% 60.6%
Share of Residents Working Before the Great Recession 62.1% 60.2%
Labor Force Participation Rate 61% 63.1%
Labor Force Participation Rate Before the Great Recession 65.3% 66%

County Labor Market Watch

Here are the numbers by county for local labor market data.

For more information about the economic conditions and challenges facing your community, visit our County Snapshots page.

Fundamental Economic Barriers Remain

Too many leaders in Washington DC and Raleigh claim that our economy is doing great, a stark contrast to the dire economic realities that far too many communities and families in North Carolina face. The North Carolina Budget and Tax Center regularly analyzes state and local economic conditions, and barriers to economic opportunity should not be swept under the rug and ignored.

The fact is, North Carolina has not actually recovered fully from the Great Recession, and is still well below the pre-recession level of employment. In December 2017, North Carolina would have needed 369,000 more jobs to match the pre-recession level of employment (a gap known as the “Jobs Deficit”). As shown here, North Carolina job opportunities in North Carolina have not kept pace with the need for employment in our state.

jobs deficit graphic