As NC jobless rate keeps falling, people seeking work drops

North Carolina

(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell for the eighth consecutive month in May, the state Department of Commerce announced on Wednesday. The reduction appeared largely connected to a decline in the number of people actively seeking work.

The state’s overall workforce fell by more than 16,200 people compared to April, or to just under 5 million, according to data provided by the department. And the number of people employed actually decreased by 4,550 while the seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell from 5% in April to 4.8%. The number of employed had actually grown by 4,500 between March and April.

The North Carolina rate continues a steady decline since last fall as coronavirus restrictions on businesses have eased. The rate had spiked to 13.5% in April and May 2020.

Leisure and hospitality industries showed the largest increase in employment last month at 7,600 workers, according to data. Government (a 3,100-worker decline) and construction (1,600) were among the sectors showing the largest decreases.

The national unemployment rate was 5.8% in May.

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