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May 14, 2008

Unemployment update

The latest job market numbers for North Carolina were just released, and they're not good. Employment fell, and the unemployment rate rose. Will we see more of the same in the future? Listen

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"I think we will. This is a pattern that we have seen now since the second part of 2007. We are in a slowing economy - probably recession - and that means a slowing job market. And I think now it is actually meaning a declining job market. And we're going to see the job market not producing as many jobs, and we're going to see the unemployment rate go up. It's part of the pattern, unfortunately, part of the pattern of an economic slowdown or a recession. And I think we will see this pattern continue for several more months. I think in our state the unemployment rate, which is now in the low 5s, could reach near 6 percent. The good news, though, is that many economists expect the unemployment rate during this recession, especially in North Carolina, not to get to the high peak that we saw, for example, in the last recession. If we top out close to 6 percent, I think that will be good. The other fact to remember is that the employment market is a lagging indicator. We will likely see signs of an improving economy elsewhere in the market before we see it in the employment market. So don't be despondent if you continue to see the unemployment rate rise even though you see, for example, maybe the stock market going up."

Posted by Dave at May 14, 2008 08:00 AM