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Middling jobs report for county as unemployment rate takes dip / September 06, 2017
Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate dipped slightly in July even as the number of employed workers declined after two months of steady growth.

The local jobless rate was 5.1 percent in July, down from 5.2 percent in June.

There were 11,938 county residents with jobs in July, compared to 11,957 in June.

Mecklenburg County continues to lag behind the state as a whole in recovering from the Great Recession. Between July 2016 and July 2017, the state’s civilian labor force grew by 2.5 percent. The size of Mecklenburg County’s labor force, however, declined by 1 percent.

While the jobless rate in that same period has dropped from 5.9 percent to 5.1 percent, the decline is due in part to a shrinking number of jobless claims, not because of any increase in the number of available jobs. In July 2016, 753 workers filed claims for unemployment benefits. In July, the number of claimants was 641.

There were 11,931 employed workers in the county a year ago, compared to 11,938 in July.

Despite the middling numbers, the civilian labor force — comprised of people who are either working or seeking work — remained strong: 12,579.

Next door, Halifax County’s labor market was largely unchanged in the month of July as the jobless rate held steady at 5.4 percent.

The number of Halifax County residents with jobs in July was 14,112, compared to 14,399 in June. The size of the civilian labor force declined hand-in-hand with the drop in the number of jobs, leaving the percentage of county residents unemployed during the month virtually unchanged.

The summer months typically see fluctuations in the size of the labor pool as schools let out and people go looking for work.

Elsewhere in the region, Brunswick County’s unemployment rate remained fixed at 5.5 percent between June and July. The jobless rate in Lunenburg County dropped three-tenths percent from 4.6 percent in June to 4.3 percent in July, even though the county’s labor force and number of active workers took a hit.

The jobless rate in Charlotte County remained at 5.2 percent, the same figure as June.

Statewide, the jobless rate remained at 3.9 percent from June to July. Nationally, the rate ticked up one-tenth percent from 4.5 percent in June to 4.6 percent in July.

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