After 4-Month Lull, Low NC Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly

RALEIGH N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s historically low unemployment rate rose slightly in August, the state Commerce Department reported on Friday.

Last month’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.5% — ending a four-month run in which the rate stood at 3.4%.

For now, the August rate marks the first monthly increase since April 2020, when business restrictions at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the jobless rate to soar to 14.2%. Regular annual revisions to the monthly rates have been completed through 2021.

Before this year, the monthly rate hadn’t fallen to 3.4% since 2000, according to department data.

The August figures show overall employment grew by close to 1,400 workers, to well over 4.9 million. But it was outpaced by an increase of the unemployed of 7,900 to 179,560 people. Still, the number of unemployed has fallen by 57,550 over the past year.

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With another counting format based on monthly worksite surveys, the agency reported seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment rose by 10,100 to 4.8 million. The leisure and hospitality services industry and professional and business services sector saw sizeable numeric increases in employment, while government employment had a decline of 4,900 workers.

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