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'Disappointing' Unemployment Report For N.C.


North Carolina’s unemployment rate got worse in August, while South Carolina’s remained steady but well above the national average.

If you’re looking for bright spots in the North Carolina unemployment report, well, good luck.

"This is undoubtedly a disappointing jobs report," Allan Freyer said. He's an analyst with the N.C. Budget and Tax Center. "We see a weakening private sector and long-term decay in public sector employment as well."

Freyer said the private sector shed more than 7,000 jobs last month. If we broaden out to the past year, the private sector has only grown 1 percent in terms of employment.

Government jobs actually increased a little from July to August. But Freyer said that’s a blip on the radar when you look at how state and local governments have been hemorrhaging jobs the past few years. Last year alone, North Carolina cut 4,000 of them.

Freyer said that’s a big difference from past recessions and recoveries, when the public sector has usually tried to cushion the downturn.

"This is the first recession at least since the 1930s where across the country local and state governments have responded to recession not by raising new revenues but by cutting spending and laying off workers, and that’s just added to the problem," he said.

That makes for a pretty simple and depressing economic formula. Weak private sector growth + government layoffs = high unemployment.