As Labor Day ushers in the unofficial end of summer on Monday, many of us will take a break from our daily worklife to grab one more relaxing moment before we enter the downhill portion of the year which will come to a crash landing at Christmas.
And, fortunately, most of us these days, have labor from which we can take a break.
N.C. Bureau of Labor Statistics put the unemployment rate for July at 5.9 percent in its preliminary ciphering.
That means more than 94 percent of North Carolinians who want a job have a job. That’s good for everyone, from homeowners to homebuilders, from white collar workers to the blue collar workers who keep our foundations from crumbling.
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But it’s also worth noting, the July unemployment figures, preliminary though they are, represent a startling jump from February figures, which showed just a 5.3 percent unemployment rate.
Figuring out what those numbers mean can be challenging. While the unemployment rate has risen over the most recent four months, so too, have the number of employed workers – for the most part.
That means job growth has not been keeping pace with population growth. Often we meet people who have moved to North Carolina without a job, hoping to land one once they get here.
Those folks are finding that harder to do. And, in the process, as they find jobs, they are often kicking to the curb someone who has always called North Carolina home.
That puts immense pressure on the state’s economic development community to create as many good jobs as fast as they can. Recent developments – like the Novo Nordisk expansion in Johnston county and the resurrection of Wendell Falls closer to home – will, no doubt, boost job opportunities in the region.
But if you’re one of those 5.9 percent of people without work, it can’t come fast enough, especially as they sit back and watch others take a break from their work on this Labor Day.