Editor’s note: North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted September 2023 unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, an increase of 0.1 of a percentage point from August’s revised rate, reports the N.C. Department of Commerce. What’s that mean? WRAL TechWire reached out to N.C. State economist Dr. Mike Walden for his analysis.
North Carolina missed out for the most part on a national surge in jobs last month – a report Walden called a shocker. The September national job report was a shocker. Most analysts had been expecting a net increase in jobs for September to be in the 150,000 to 200,000 range. Instead, the net increase in payroll jobs was an astonishing 336,000. Now, his look at North Carolina data.
RALEIGH – Overall, the September labor market report for North Carolina was positive, but there are some warning signals.
On the plus side, over 10,000 non-farm jobs were added, the labor force grew by 18,000, the labor force participation rate edged up to 60.9%, and several sectors experienced robust job growth, particularly trade/transportation/utilities, education/health, and professional services.
But there were three negative signs.
The 10,000 job gain was 60% lower than the gains in August. In manufacturing, 900 jobs were lost, and leisure/hospitality employment was down by 1600.
Changes in the manufacturing sector tend to lead changes in the overall economy, and the loss in leisure/hospitality jobs is a major shift from the sector’s big gains in recent months.
Last, although the unemployment rate remained relatively low at 3.4%, it was up from August’s 3.3%, and the total number of unemployed workers rose by 3100.
Recession, more layoffs ahead?