Late last week the North Carolina Department of Commerce released the employment figures for the state for December.
The news is mostly positive for the Tar Heel State – compared to the national jobs numbers – with North Carolina’s unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 3.6 percent and the national rate increasing by 0.2 of a percentage point. The national unemployment rate is currently 3.9 percent.
According to the release:
North Carolina’s December 2018 unemployment rate decreased 0.9 of a percentage point from a year ago. The number of people employed increased 4,299 over the month to 4,818,454 and increased 74,190 over the year. The number of people unemployed increased 1,173 over the month to 178,436 and decreased 43,413 over the year.
Ten years ago, North Carolina was on the front end of an economic rollercoaster that came to be known as the Great Recession. While the state’s unemployment rate reached its peak in February 2010 (at 11.4 percent), North Carolina’s job growth over the past ten years, since December 2008, has been phenomenal.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed persons in North Carolina increased by more than 614,000 from December 2008 to December 2018. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to 6 percent of the state’s current population!
Several economic indicators show that North Carolina’s economy has generally outpaced the nation and region over the past eight years. What’s the difference? Multiple years of tax reform, regulatory reform, and constraining government spending have layered upon each other create an environment where job creators have been able to bring more than 600,000 workers into the state’s economy.