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North Carolina’s unemployment rate up to 11.2% in February

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RALEIGH — North Carolina’s unemployment rate increased to 11.2 percent in February, according to statistics released today by the state’s Employment Security Commission. The rate increased from 11.1 percent in January.

“Our data shows how difficult economic recovery can be,” said ESC Chairman Lynn Holmes. “We are seeing an increased re-engagement into the state’s labor force with a gain of over 11,000 people in February. While we remain cautious, this could be a sign that more people are re-entering the labor force because they believe more work is available.

“It’s going to take many consecutive months of job gains to get employment levels back up. Over the last two reporting periods, we have seen a net increase in job creation, though during the current period there has been a slight decrease in jobs. We continue to provide job search assistance, unemployment insurance benefits to those who are eligible and many of our other services at 89 offices statewide.

”Seasonally adjusted, total non-farm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, decreased by 2,800 jobs over the past month to 3,889,500. The largest over-the-month increase occurred in Education & Health Services (+2,600). The largest decrease was in Construction (-2,400). Since February 2009, non-farm employment has decreased by 94,100 jobs.

Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 2,836 workers to 4,038,734. Unemployment increased by 8,596 workers, to 510,774. Since this time last year, unemployment has increased by 59,997 people. Employment is down by 89,111 workers since February 2009. The state rate in February 2009 was 9.8 percent.The next unemployment update is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, when the county unemployment rates for the month of February will be released.

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