MEDIA RELEASE: Unemployment rises across all metro areas

MEDIA RELEASE: Unemployment rises across all metro areas
Government layoffs erase private sector job gains

Raleigh (August 26, 2011)—Every metropolitan area saw net job losses in July, according to new numbers released by the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. Despite anemic job creation in the private sector last month, local and state government layoffs completely negated these gains, leading to increased unemployment.

“We’re seeing thousands of public sector jobs being lost across the state’s metro areas and only hundreds of private sector jobs replacing them,” said Allan Freyer, policy analyst with the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center. “This negative job tradeoff is a recipe for increasing unemployment, not economic recovery.”

Job losses range from a high of 17,000 in the Charlotte Metro and 6,600 in the Greensboro/High Point Metro to a low of 500 in the Rocky Mount Metro and 700 in Goldsboro. These job losses are driven by large-scale public sector job losses, including 16,800 government layoffs in Charlotte, 5,800 in Greensboro/High Point, 400 in Rocky Mount, and 500 in Goldsboro. In each of these metro areas, job creation would have been positive without these public sector layoffs.

Perhaps even more troubling, while the actual number of jobs went down across each region, three metros—Fayetteville, Goldsboro, and Rocky Mount—all saw their unemployment rates go down in July. Given that the unemployment rate only captures those jobless who are actively looking for work, this suggests that more people in these three metros have abandoned their search for jobs and have dropped out of the labor force altogether—bad news for long-term employment growth.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Allan Freyer, Public Policy Analyst, Budget & Tax Center,, 919.856.2151; Jeff Shaw, director of communications, NC Justice Center,, 503.551.3615 (mobile).