New unemployment numbers offer a mixed bag of news. The unemployment rate fell in 17 states. Here in North Carolina it held steady. The national rate dropped a tenth of a point in July to 9.4 while our state rate remained at 11 percent. We have been at eleven percent or higher for the last three months. Those are historic highs, so the announcement of new jobs at US Cellular is most welcome indeed. "We have 30 openings right now in Eastern North Carolina, from customer service to cashier greeters, sales associates, engineers. A wide variety of positions," said Clint Mosley of US Cellular. But as one company giveth, another taketh away. Layoffs are occurring at Bedford Fair, as they phase out the Wilmington warehouse facility. More than 150 people are, or were, employed there, and that underscores the instability that still plagues the economy. The professional and business services sector gained jobs while the government sector lost jobs, as budget cuts took root. Things will remain busy at local unemployment offices. Even though most economists feel the recession is over; they also predict a long haul as people try to get back to work. Normally the US unemployment rate sits around five percent.
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