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  • Ray Wyche

Jobless Rate Steady, Good Jobs still Scarce

The state’s job situation, despite holding steady as to the number of people who have found employment, is still lacking in well-paying jobs that are the key to pushing the state’s overall economy upward.

In the August labor market report, job growth in North Carolina was measured at 1.3 percent, compared to job growth after recessions in 1980 of 18.8 percent and 27.5 percent after a recession in 1981.

The report was issued by the Justice Center, a liberal Raleigh watchdog group that studies affairs of the state as they affect residents of the state.

“North Carolina’s economic recovery has hit roadblocks and detours in 2015. The number of unemployed in the state is growing, wages are falling and job growth is stalling,” said Patrick McHugh, a policy analyst with the Justice Center.

The matter of the number of the state’s unemployed, by state figures, is determined by the number of jobless people who have applied to the state for unemployment insurance benefits. Once the time for remaining on the state’s jobless rolls has expired and unemployment payments end, those people are not counted as unemployed, even though they are still without a job.

Hence, there are two figures for unemployed workers — those who are on the state’s jobless rolls and seeking work by applying through the state’s employment security system, and those who have exhausted their time to receive benefits and are no longer on the state’s jobless rolls.

The Justice Center claims the actual number of jobless people in North Carolina is around 15 percent of the labor force.

Some analysts claim the loss of furniture and textile manufacturing, added to the jobs lost with the decline of jobs resulting from the down turn in the state’s tobacco industry, has reduced the need for workers and has contributed to job scarcity.

Many of the new jobs following the recession are in the low-paying category, such as the fast food industry.

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