Job market reverses in May

Jul. 02, 2013 @ 01:12 PM

UPDATED 1:15 P.M.

 

Jobless rates increased across the greater High Point area and in most regions of the state from April to May, a development that may stoke the debate about the end of extended unemployment benefits and reductions in weekly jobless payouts taking effect this week.
The N.C. Division of Employment Security reported Tuesday that unemployment rates increased in 87 of 100 counties during May. Jobless levels eased in 12 counties and remained the same in one.
Unemployment levels increased noticeably in the city of High Point and Guilford County, according to the job service agency’s figures. The city’s unemployment rate went up from 8.6 percent in April, which was a more than four-year low, to 9.5 percent in May. Guilford County’s rate shot up from 8.6 percent in April to 9.4 percent in May.
The increase in unemployment during May, in part, reflects seasonal factors as college and high school students enter the job market for the summer, said Ikel Williams, manager of the High Point job service office. The city’s official labor force increased 2 percent from 51,640 in April to 52,556 in May.
Williams said the High Point job service office continues to receive job orders from employers.
Davidson County’s jobless rate, which also reached a more than four-year low in May, increased from 9.1 percent to 9.5 percent. Randolph County’s level didn’t rise as much, from 9.1 percent to 9.3 percent.
Jobless levels increased in all 14 of the state’s metropolitan areas in May, according to the Division of Employment Security.
The job market picture is better compared to a year ago. From May of last year, jobless rates fell in 71 counties, increased in 23 and remained unchanged in six, the Division of Employment Security reports. Jobless rates have declined over the year period in Guilford, Davidson and Randolph counties.
The May unemployment report comes during the week that a bill passed in February by the Republican-controlled N.C. General Assembly and signed by GOP Gov. Pat McCrory takes effect to limit the weeks people can draw unemployment benefits and reduce the maximum amount someone can receive weekly. The loss, on average, is $290 a week in unemployment compensation, according to the Raleigh-based N.C. Justice Center, which has been critical of the Republican moves on unemployment compensation.
“North Carolina has become the only state where jobless workers aren’t allowed to get the additional weeks of benefits provided through federal emergency unemployment program,” according to the Justice Center.
Republican leaders have said the steps on unemployment were necessary to address a more than $2 billion debt by the state to the federal government for unemployment insurance aid during the Great Recession. Republicans say they are having to deal with the fallout from neglect and poor decisions when Democrats controlled the General Assembly and governor’s seat.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528

 

 

 

Jobless rates increased across the greater High Point area and in most regions of the state from April to May, a development that may stoke the debate about the end of extended unemployment benefits and reductions in weekly jobless payouts taking effect this week.
The N.C. Division of Employment Security reported Tuesday that unemployment rates increased in 87 of 100 counties during May. Jobless levels eased in 12 counties and remained the same in one.
Unemployment levels increased noticeably in the city of High Point and Guilford County, according to the job service agency’s figures. The city’s unemployment rate went up from 8.6 percent in April, which was a more than four-year low, to 9.5 percent in May. Guilford County’s rate shot up from 8.6 percent in April to 9.4 percent in May.
The increase in unemployment during May, in part, reflects seasonal factors as college and high school students enter the job market for the summer, said Ikel Williams, manager of the High Point job service office. The city’s official labor force increased from 51,640 in April to 52,556 in May.
Williams said the High Point job service office continues to receive job orders from employers.
Davidson County's jobless rate, which also reached a more than four-year low in May, increased from 9.1 percent to 9.5 percent. Randolph County’s level didn’t rise as much, from 9.1 percent to 9.3 percent.
Jobless levels increased in all 14 of the state’s metropolitan areas in May, according to the Division of Employment Security.
The May unemployment report comes during the week that a bill passed in February by the Republican-controlled N.C. General Assembly and signed by GOP Gov. Pat McCrory takes effect to limit the weeks people can draw unemployment benefits and reduce the maximum amount someone can receive weekly. The loss, on average, is $290 a week in unemployment compensation, according to the Raleigh-based N.C. Justice Center, which has been critical of the Republican moves on unemployment compensation.
“North Carolina has become the only state where jobless workers aren’t allowed to get the additional weeks of benefits provided through federal emergency unemployment program,” according to the Justice Center.

Republican leaders have said the steps on unemployment were necessary to address a more than $2 billion debt by the state to the federal government for unemployment insurance aid during the Great Recession. Republicans say they are having to deal with the fallout from neglect and poor decisions when Democrats controlled the General Assembly and governor's seat.