by Jordan Green

Falling unemployment rate belies evaporating jobs

Chapel Hill economist John Quinterno calls the latest employment report for North Carolina “the worst one recorded so far in 2010,” noting a net loss of 29,800 payroll positions and adding that the 77 percent of employment gains made during the first six months of 2010 were wiped out by July’s numbers.

It will come as no surprise for anyone who follows the agonizing budgetary decisions of local government and recognizes that the new fiscal year begins on July 1 that most significant losses took place in the public sector, with local governments shedding 26,500 positions last month.

Losses in the private sector hit the following three industries, in rank of order: construction, leisure and hospitality services, and professional and business services. The strongest gains, by industry, were seen in trade, transportation and utilities; manufacturing; and finance.

Typically a positive indicator, the unemployment rate across the state dropped from 10 percent to 9.8 percent, but Quinterno said that the decline is accounted for by 59,900 discouraged workers leaving the employment pool since may, even as population growth and colleges graduating new students creates additional demand for jobs.

“The July jobs report exposed just how weak the economy really is,” Quinterno said in a prepared statement. “The economy is proving unable to generate jobs without the crutch provided by public policy supports, and individuals across the state simply are abandoning the labor market.”

Job Fair scheduled For Sept. 1

The 2010 Job Expo and Franchise Fair, hosted by the Greensboro chamber of commerce, takes place Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Four seasons Town Centre. employers who have reserved exhibit space include American Express, Bank of America, Time Warner Cable, Guilford College and the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. GTCC is also offering seminars to help both job seekers and those interested in starting their own businesses.