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North Carolina Gains 17,000 Jobs in January; Unemployment Rate at 10.2 Percent

Press Release from North CarolinaDepartment of Commerce: Labor and Economic Analysis Division

March 14, 2012. RALEIGH — North Carolina gained 17,000 nonfarm jobs in January, according to statistics released today by the state’s Department of Commerce. 

Over the year, that state has seen an increase of 50,600 jobs. The state’s January unemployment rate decreased to 10.2 percent from December’s benchmark rate of 10.4 percent.

“We are encouraged by total job growth since this time last year and the job gains in January,” said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. “There were job increases in a majority of the job sectors. We remain committed to assisting our customers statewide with our programs and services available at our employment services offices.”

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey increased by 17,000 to 3,949,200 in January. Since January 2011, private sector jobs have increased by 55,400. Over-the-year, professional & business services had the largest job gain with 13,900.

It is important to note that industry employment estimates are subject to seasonal atterns.  While seasonal adjustment factors are applied to the data, these factors may not be fully capturing the seasonal trend.  Therefore, when interpreting the industry employment changes it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in both the seasonally adjusted series and the not seasonally adjusted series.

The number of people unemployed decreased by 7,968 to 476,276 (seasonally adjusted), over the month. The number of people employed increased by 14,213, to 4,207,205. Since this time last year, the number of people unemployed has decreased by 10,736. The state unemployment rate in January 2011 was 10.5 percent.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) Benchmarking

Monthly labor force statistics for the state and substate areas are revised by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through the annual benchmark process.  This annual revision updates the historical monthly labor force statistics to reflect revised new population controls, seasonal factors, employment estimates and unemployment insurance claims. The new population controls reflect, for the first time, the results from the 2010 Decennial Census. Both seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted data are subject to revisions back to 2007.

Monthly Nonfarm payroll employment estimates for the state and substate areas are also subject to annual revisions required by the BLS. The employment estimates are adjusted through a process that overlays these sample-based estimates with actual employment data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program that has been adjusted to reflect CES employment definitions. The seasonally adjusted series are subject to revisions from 1990 forward.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20, when the county unemployment rates for the month of January will be released.