State unemployment rate drops to 6.9 percent

January 31, 2014

RALEIGH — The state’s seasonally adjusted December unemployment rate was 6.9 percent, decreasing 0.5 of a percentage point from November’s revised rate of 7.4 percent. The national rate decreased to 6.7 percent from November’s 7.0 percent.

North Carolina’s December 2013 unemployment rate was 2.5 percentage points lower than a year ago. The number of people employed increased 19,217 over the month to 4,333,615, and increased 13,414 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 21,097 over the month to 322,689, and declined 124,344 over the year.

Seasonally adjusted total non-farm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, increased 11,100 to 4,096,800 in December. The major industry with the largest over-the-month increase was trade, transportation and utilities at 4,500, followed by other services, 2,100; financial activities, 1,900; education and health services, 1,500; manufacturing, 700; government, 500; information, 300; leisure and hospitality services, 200; and mining and logging, 100. Major industries to experience decreases were construction, 500; and professional and business services, 200.

Since December 2012, total non-farm jobs have gained 64,500 with the total private sector growing by 64,900 and government declining by 400. The largest over-the-year increase of major industries was in professional and business services at 22,200, followed by trade, transportation and utilities, 18,800; leisure and hospitality services, 8,800; education and health services, 8,000; information, 5,300; financial activities, 2,700; other services, 1,500; and manufacturing, 1,300. Major industries to experience decreases over the year were construction, 3,700; and government, 400. Mining and logging employment remained flat over the year.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Wednesday, when the county unemployment rates for December 2013 will be released.