North Carolina turned in a mostly positive unemployment report for November as both estimates of employment showed positive gains for the month.
While the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5 percent – the highest since May – that increase is due to an increase in people joining the labor force, not because the economy is shrinking.
These trends largely follow economic norms in which employment falls during the summer months and picks back up in the fall.
The Commerce Department estimates employment in two ways: One through a survey of households and the other through a survey of employers. By the measure of households, North Carolina added 21,000 to the ranks of the employed from October to November. By the measure of employers, the economy added 9,000 jobs.
These two estimates don’t always come this close. In some months, the one estimate can show a growth while the other shows a decline. Economists warn against drawing strong conclusions from any month-to-month changes and encourage a longer look to get a better understanding of the economy. In North Carolina, the economy has been on a steady pace of adding about 100,000 jobs over any 12-month period.