Policy Points

13.06.2013 Policy Points No Comments

NC Unemployment Claims: Week of 5/25/13

For the benefit week ending on May 25, 2013, some 10,177 North Carolinians filed initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits and 89,579 individuals applied for state-funded continuing benefits. Compared to the prior week, there were more initial and more continuing claims. These figures come from data released by the US Department of Labor.

Averaging new and continuing claims over a four-week period — a process that helps adjust for seasonal fluctuations and better illustrates trends — shows that an average of 10,754 initial claims were filed over the previous four weeks, along with an average of 89,252 continuing claims. Compared to the previous four-week period, the average number of initial claims was higher, and the average number of continuing claims was higher.

One year ago, the four-week average for initial claims stood at 11,204 , and the four-week average of continuing claims equaled 100,624.

In recent months covered employment has increased and now exceeds the level recorded a year ago (3.82 million versus 3.76 million). Nevertheless, there are still fewer covered workers than there were in January 2008, which means that payrolls are smaller today than they were almost 5.5 years ago.

The graph shows the changes in unemployment insurance claims measured as a share of covered employment in North Carolina since the recession’s start in December 2007. untitled

Both new and continuing claims appear to have peaked for this cycle, and the four-week averages of new and continuing claims have fallen considerably.  In fact, the four-week average of initial claims, when measured as a share of covered employment, is now at the lowest level recorded since early 2008.  Yet continuing claims remain at an elevated level, which suggests that unemployed individuals are finding it difficult to find new positions.

 

06.06.2013 Policy Points No Comments

NC Unemployment Claims: Week Of 5/18/13

For the benefit week ending on May 18, 2013, some 9,875 North Carolinians filed initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits and 88,643 individuals applied for state-funded continuing benefits. Compared to the prior week, there were fewer initial and fewer continuing claims. These figures come from data released by the US Department of Labor.

Averaging new and continuing claims over a four-week period — a process that helps adjust for seasonal fluctuations and better illustrates trends — shows that an average of 10,588 initial claims were filed over the previous four weeks, along with an average of 88,959 continuing claims. Compared to the previous four-week period, the average number of initial claims was higher, and the average number of continuing claims was lower.

One year ago, the four-week average for initial claims stood at 11,437 , and the four-week average of continuing claims equaled 100,354.

In recent months covered employment has increased and now exceeds the level recorded a year ago (3.82 million versus 3.76 million). Nevertheless, there are still fewer covered workers than there were in January 2008, which means that payrolls are smaller today than they were over five years ago.

The graph shows the changes in unemployment insurance claims measured as a share of covered employment in North Carolina since the recession’s start in December 2007. untitled

Both new and continuing claims appear to have peaked for this cycle, and the four-week averages of new and continuing claims have fallen considerably.  In fact, the four-week average of initial claims, when measured as a share of covered employment, is now at the lowest level recorded since early 2008.  Yet continuing claims remain at an elevated level, which suggests that unemployed individuals are finding it difficult to find new positions.

 

30.05.2013 Policy Points No Comments

NC Unemployment Claims: Week Of 5/11/13

For the benefit week ending on May 11, 2013, some 11,622 North Carolinians filed initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits and 89,746 individuals applied for state-funded continuing benefits. Compared to the prior week, there were more initial and more continuing claims. These figures come from data released by the US Department of Labor.

Averaging new and continuing claims over a four-week period — a process that helps adjust for seasonal fluctuations and better illustrates trends — shows that an average of 10,541 initial claims were filed over the previous four weeks, along with an average of 89,107 continuing claims. Compared to the previous four-week period, the average number of initial claims was higher, and the average number of continuing claims was lower.

One year ago, the four-week average for initial claims stood at 10,880, and the four-week average of continuing claims equaled 99,916.

In recent months covered employment has increased and now exceeds the level recorded a year ago (3.82 million versus 3.76 million). Nevertheless, there are still fewer covered workers than there were in January 2008, which means that payrolls are smaller today than they were over five years ago.

The graph shows the changes in unemployment insurance claims measured as a share of covered employment in North Carolina since the recession’s start in December 2007. untitled

Both new and continuing claims appear to have peaked for this cycle, and the four-week averages of new and continuing claims have fallen considerably.  In fact, the four-week average of initial claims, when measured as a share of covered employment, is now at the lowest level recorded since early 2008.  Yet continuing claims remain at an elevated level, which suggests that unemployed individuals are finding it difficult to find new positions.

 

29.05.2013 News Releases, Policy Points No Comments

Spring Thaw In Local Unemployment Rates

CHAPEL HILL, NC (May 29, 2013) – Between April 2012 and April 2013, unemployment rates fell in 76 of North Carolina’s 100 countries and in 12 of the state’s 14 metropolitan areas. Over the period, the size of the labor force grew in 33 counties and in 8 metro areas. These findings come from new estimates prepared by the Labor and Economic Analysis Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

“Over the year, local unemployment rates dropped across most of North Carolina,” said John Quinterno, a principal with South by North Strategies, Ltd., a research firm specializing in economic and social policy. “Unemployment nevertheless remains elevated, with 32 counties and one metro area posting unemployment rates of at least 10 percent. In April 2008, in contrast, just one county and no metro areas logged unemployment rates of at least 10 percent.”

Compared to December 2007, which is when the national economy fell into recession, North Carolina now has 2.7 percent fewer jobs (-113,400) and has seen its unadjusted unemployment rate climb to 8.5 percent from 4.7 percent. In April, the state gained 6,100 more jobs than it added (+ 0.2 percent). Since bottoming out in February 2010, the state’s labor market has netted some 5,642 jobs per month, resulting in a cumulative gain of 214,400 positions (+5.6 percent).

Between March 2013 and April 2013, local unemployment rates decreased in 97 of the state’s 100 counties. Individual county rates ranged from 5.3 percent in Orange County to 15.9 percent in Graham County. Overall, 33 counties posted unemployment rates greater than or equal to 10 percent, and 64 counties posted rates between 6 and 9.9 percent.

“Non-metropolitan labor markets continue to struggle relative to metropolitan ones,” noted Quinterno. “In April, 9.6 percent of the non-metro labor force was unemployed, compared to 8 percent of the metro labor force. Compared to December 2007, the non-metro labor force now has 6 percent fewer employed persons, while the number of unemployed individuals is 70.8 percent larger.”

Over the month, unemployment rates fell in all 14 metro areas. Rocky Mount had the highest unemployment rate (12.3 percent), followed by Hickory-Morganton-Lenoir (9.6 percent) and Fayetteville (9.2 percent). Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest unemployment rate (6.3 percent), followed by Asheville (6.6 percent) and Raleigh-Cary (6.8 percent).

Compared to April 2012, unemployment rates in April 2013 were lower in 76 counties and 12 metro areas. Over the year, labor force sizes increased in 33 counties and in 8 metros. Among metros, Asheville’s labor force expanded at the fastest rate (+2.1 percent), followed by that of Greenville (+1.7 percent). With those changes, metro areas now are home to 71.9 percent of the state’s labor force, with 50.5 percent of the labor force residing in the Triangle, Triad, and Charlotte metros.

In the long term, improvements in overall labor market conditions depend on growth in the Charlotte, Research Triangle, and Piedmont Triad regions. Yet growth in these metros remains subdued. Collectively, employment in those three metro regions has risen by 3.1 percent since December 2007, and the combined April unemployment rate in the three regions equaled 7.8 percent. That was down from the 8.2 percent rate recorded one year ago yet was well above the 4.6 percent rate recorded in April 2008. Of the three broad regions, the Research Triangle had the lowest April unemployment rate (6.8 percent), followed by Charlotte and the Piedmont Triad (both 8.6 percent).

“Despite recent improvements in local labor markets across the state, the problems of unemployment and the accompanying hardships remain pronounced,” said Quinterno. “The state simply lacks enough jobs for all those who need and want work, and robust job growth remains far beyond the horizon. Given the massive changes to the unemployment insurance system scheduled to occur on July 1, the problems only may get worse before they get better.”

23.05.2013 Policy Points No Comments

NC Unemployment Claims: Week Of 5/4/2013

For the benefit week ending on May 4, 2013, some 11,341 North Carolinians filed initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits and 89,038 individuals applied for state-funded continuing benefits. Compared to the prior week, there were more initial and more continuing claims. These figures come from data released by the US Department of Labor.

Averaging new and continuing claims over a four-week period — a process that helps adjust for seasonal fluctuations and better illustrates trends — shows that an average of 10,299 initial claims were filed over the previous four weeks, along with an average of 89,112 continuing claims. Compared to the previous four-week period, the average number of initial claims was lower, and the average number of continuing claims was lower.

One year ago, the four-week average for initial claims stood at 10,623, and the four-week average of continuing claims equaled 100,419.

In recent months covered employment has increased and now exceeds the level recorded a year ago (3.82 million versus 3.76 million). Nevertheless, there are still fewer covered workers than there were in January 2008, which means that payrolls are smaller today than they were over five years ago.

The graph shows the changes in unemployment insurance claims measured as a share of covered employment in North Carolina since the recession’s start in December 2007.

Both new and continuing claims appear to untitledhave peaked for this cycle, and the four-week averages of new and continuing claims have fallen considerably.  In fact, the four-week average of initial claims, when measured as a share of covered employment, is now at the lowest level recorded since early 2008.