New figures show that North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped below the national average for July. From a press release from Gov. McCrory’s office:
North Carolina’s unemployment rate decreased below the national average to 4.7 percent in July. Since Governor Pat McCrory entered office in 2013, the number of unemployed persons in North Carolina is 45 percent lower.
“As home to one of the fastest growing economies in the country, North Carolina’s unemployment rate has now dropped below the national average and more than 300,000 new jobs have been added since 2013,” said Governor McCrory. “We have successfully modernized the tax code, fixed the broken unemployment insurance system and implemented an economic development strategy that has strengthened the economy and put more people back to work.”
The unemployment rate is now lower than it has been since May 2007 and the size of the labor force is 2.9 percent larger than in January 2013.
Interestingly, NC’s unemployment rate has been lower or tied with the national average 9 times since Feb. of 2014 (as calculated monthly). NC’s rate had been higher than the national average for 90 of the 92 months prior to that (the period May 2006 to Jan. 2014). These are clear signs of improvement.
Moreover, NC’s labor force has been growing at a faster pace than the national rate. Since Jan. 2013, NC’s labor force grew by 2.9 percent, while the national labor force grew by only 2.3 percent. This is another healthy sign, and puts to rest the critics’ claims that NC’s unemployment rate is only improving because the labor force is shrinking.