Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.
The latest national employment numbers for June 2010 show some modest private sector job creation despite a decline overall in total nonfarm employment. The unemployment rate dropped a bit to 9.5 percent from 9.7 percent in May. The U.S. economy lost 125,000 jobs in June, in large part due to a decrease in temporary workers hired by the federal government to help conduct the decennial census. The loss of 225,000 census workers was partially offset by a gain of 83,000 jobs in the private sector.
The monthly increase in private sector employment was driven by growth in the following industry sectors:
Leisure and hospitality, +37,000
- Amusements, gambling, and recreation, +28,000
Professional and business services, +46,000
- Temporary help services, +21,000
- Management and technical consulting, +11,000
- Business support services, +7,000
Transportation and warehousing, +15,000
Health care, +9,000
- Fabricated metal products, +7,000
As I look at these numbers, I wonder if they indicate that U.S. job creation is on the rebound in a meaningful and sustainable way. This does not appear to be a jobless recovery in the purest sense, given that thousands of jobs are being created in the private sector. However, most economists contend that we are not yet seeing anything close to the level of job creation required to return to pre-recession employment levels. For example, even though the U.S. economy has added nearly 600,000 jobs since the beginning of the year, total private employment was 7.9 million less in June than it was in December of 2007.
I also wonder how the national employment trends are playing out in North Carolina. Is the rate of job creation in the state above or below what we are seeing for the U.S. as a whole? What industry sectors in North Carolina are adding jobs and which specific occupations are expected to grow over the next decade? I am particularly curious about whether the recent upward trend in manufacturing employment nationally is occurring in North Carolina. (Since December 2009, the U.S. economy has posted its strongest six-month gain in manufacturing employment dating back to the 1990s.) To what extent is the state adding high-wage, high skill jobs? How is North Carolina faring with some of the economic sectors that are so often touted to be the drivers of future economic growth such as renewable “green” energy, creativity-based industries, and aerospace?
If you are interested in finding out “Where the Jobs are in North Carolina”, then consider participating in the School of Government webinar scheduled for July 14. I invite you to join in with experts from the N.C. Department of Commerce and me as we dig deeper into these job trends for North Carolina.