Last updated: June 24. 2014 6:01PM - 111 Views
Wil Petty jpetty@civitasmedia.com

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The state unemployment rate increased to 6.4 percent in May, according to a June 20 release by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

In April, the rate was at 6.2 percent, meaning the rate increased by .2 percent. North Carolina is now above the national average of 6.3 percent unemployment.

“North Carolina’s May 2014 unemployment rate was 1.9 percentage points lower than a year ago,” according to the release sent out by the N.C. DOC’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

According to the release, the number of people employed in North Carolina increased by 10,187 people between April and May, while the number of unemployed increased by 8,795 people.

When not seasonably adjusted, North Carolina’s unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, while the national unemployment rate not seasonably adjusted is at 6.1 percent.

Seasonably adjusted, North Carolina has a labor force of 4,698,491 people, with 4,397,574 employed and 300,917 unemployed. When the number is not seasonably adjusted, the state’s labor force is 4,725,595 people, with 4,414,534 employed and 312,061 unemployed.

Between April and May, the civilian labor force increased by 18,982 people.

Leisure and hospitality services experienced the largest over the month increase in jobs (7,400) followed by trade, transportation and utilities (2,300) and education and health services (1,800).

Professional and business services had the largest over the month decrease in jobs (3,400), followed by manufacturing (2,200), government (400) and financial activities (200).

According to the release, “Food had the largest amount of manufacturing employment with 51,700 in May 2014. Chemical had the largest net over-the-year increase at 1,600.”

Also, the average weekly hours for manufacturing production workers decreased 24 minutes between April and May, but average hour earnings increased to $16.80 a hour. Average weekly earnings declined by $3.23 to $725.76.

There were 23,306 unemployment insurance claims in May, an increase of 1,318 in April. Regular unemployment benefits paid out totaled $34,375,860 to 42,382 claimants statewide.

The next unemployment update will occur Tuesday, July 1 when individual county unemployment rates for May 2014 will be released.

Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.

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