RALEIGH – North Carolina’s unemployment rate in February was 3.7 percent, falling 0.2 percentage points from the revised 3.9 percent unemployment rate in the state in January .
That’s according to the latest available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the North Carolina Department of Commerce, which was released Friday morning.
Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased, as well, dropping by 0.2 percentage points to 3.8 percent. All states as well as the District of Columbia reported lower unemployment rates compared to a year ago.
North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in February 2021 and the unemployment rate nationally was 6.2 percent.
Sectors where NC added jobs
According to the new Commerce data the sectors where the most jobs were added to the state’s economy in February 2022 came in professional and business services as well as leisure and hospitality jobs.
Some 6,200 jobs were added in professional and business services. Aabout 5,300 jobs were added in the hospitality and leisure sector.
Other sectors that added jobs include trade, transportation, and utilities, which added 4,700 jobs in February 2022, and manufacutring, which added some 3,300 employees during the month, according to the report.
According to the report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, there were 4,827,774 employed people in the state, and 187,258 unemployed people, in February.
“The number of people employed increased 18,085 over the month to 4,827,774 and increased 183,269 over the year,” the report reads. “The number of people unemployed decreased 10,157 over the month to 187,258 and decreased 75,556 over the year.”
But there’s ‘ominous news’ for the labor market
However, there’s been a dip in the overall number of available job openings in recent weeks on the three primary jobs and recruitment platforms tracked by WRAL TechWire.
And that dip may be a sign of a further pause in the labor market, said Dr. Michael Walden, an economist and regular contributor to WRAL TechWire, in the most recent WRAL TechWire Jobs Report.
“[T]here could still be some ominous news in the latest numbers from the private companies,” Walden told WRAL TechWire. Impacts on the labor market could be due to labor market uncertainty due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, a change in policy from the Federal Reserve, or a number of other factors.
“Bottom line: Business executives, even in fast growing regions such as the Triangle, may be pausing to access how the economy could be changing,” Walden said.