by Jordan Green

No news is bad news

The bad news is that there isn’t much news on the unemployment front across the state: The numbers are disappointing and the trend lines don’t foretell much change. The state unemployment rate dropped from 10.4 percent to 10 percent from October to November, according to the latest information released by the NC Employment Security Commission on Dec. 20. It was better to be looking for work in the private sector, which gained 4,600 jobs, than in the public sector, which shed 800.

The government naturally places a positive spin on this development. Its top executive, Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, is angling for a contract renewal next year from her shareholders, the people of North Carolina, after all. Meanwhile, left-leaning economist John Quinterno relentlessly cuts through the spin in these reports, and remarks in response to the latest dispatch: “The total number of jobs in the state has remained essentially flat so far in 2011. Despite the little growth that has occurred, the state still has 291,900 fewer jobs than it did four years ago.”