North Carolina’s jobless rate may not be anything to cheer about, but the state’s job growth is getting some applause.
The state’s unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in January. It's one of the highest in the nation, hovering hovered around that amount for the past year. The national rate sits at 7.9 percent.
But N.C. State Economist Mike Walden says job growth is on the right track. He says the state gained more than 15,000 jobs in one month, between December 2012 and January 2013.
"That is a very good number. That is a very strong number," says Walden.
"So I view this unemployment report or jobs report as actually a piece of good news."
Walden says North Carolina’s job market has been improving at a faster rate than the nation’s.
“That upward trend in North Carolina has caused the total number of payroll jobs in the state to increase by 5.4 percent. That actually exceeds the increase at the national level which is 4.2 percent,” says Walden.
The industries with the fastest job growth are Leisure and Hospitality Services and Manufacturing.