JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Over 223,000 jobs were added across the country in the month of December, with the national unemployment rate dropping to just 3.5% in the meantime.  

That’s the lowest it’s been in 53 years, according to the December 2022 Jobs Report from the U.S. Department of Labor. 

The current unemployment rate in Onslow County has been steady at around 3.9%, according to NCWorks. One economist at East Carolina University said the lower unemployment rate and the increase in jobs available are both good signs for the future. 

“In December 223,000 jobs were created. And that number is an indication of the overall health of the economy and the need for businesses to have employees to produce goods and services,” said Interim Department Chair of Economics at ECU, Nicholas Rupp. 

Rupp added there was 4.6% wage growth in December, too. 

“This is actually good for our economy, in the sense that there appears to be less pressure on wages to go up. And as there’s less pressure on wages to rise, that will then translate into potentially slowing of price growth of goods and services that people purchase,” said Rupp.  

And overall, Rupp said unemployment has been stable nationwide. It’s also the same on a local level too, according to NCWorks.  

“It was a great year, there were a lot of opportunities for individuals to obtain employment, attain sustainable employment, and a lot of opportunities for employers to reach out,” said NCWorks Career Center Manager in Onslow County, Lindsay Gress. 

NCWorks says in the past 14 days they’ve had 219 new job postings in Onslow County. Click here to read more about NCWorks and the local job postings available.