Following three months of positive growth in what had been an extended period of recession-era unemployment numbers, business hiring slowed in the latter part of 2010, causing national unemployment figures rose to a staggering 9.8%. But North Carolina experts say our state appears to be bucking the proverbial trend with signs of slow economic improvements signaling signs of hope in the local job market.
According to a recent report by The Charlotte Observer’s Kirsten Valle Pittman, “Experts say the best bets for growth in the coming year are the health care, energy and professional and business services sectors, while manufacturing, construction and government jobs might remain flat or fall slightly. Jobs are expected to grow overall as the recovery creeps forward and economic developers court companies in those key areas. But challenges remain: Some worry there won't be enough hires to counter massive losses and that the jobs that do return will leave behind many of the state's neediest workers. UNC Charlotte economist John Connaughton predicts big growth in the retail sector, which will add 10,300 jobs, he said. The professional and business services sector, a broad field that includes everything from advertising and public relations to consulting to accounting, is expected to add 35,800 jobs, he said.”
But, like everything following the economic crisis, the news isn’t all rosy. Despite these gains, the jobs added in these key NC industries represent a drop in the bucket (around 1%) when you consider that the state lost 280,000 jobs in our recent “Great Recession.” And if your experience falls outside the hottest job trends—including information technology or heath care workers like medical assistants, registered nurses, pharmacy technicians and phlebotomists—the competition is much greater with fewer openings to go around.
“The state's unemployment rate has improved from its peak above 11 percent. But Connaughton projects the rate to remain mostly steady next year, falling to 9.5 percent by year end from 9.7 percent now. More than 433,000 people remained out of work in November, state data show. What's more: Job growth has faltered in recent months. The first half of the year, N.C. employers were steadily adding jobs, but the state's employment has fallen in each of the last six months, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. North Carolina has gained just a net 4,600 jobs since November 2009, despite continued population growth.”
And while stats show the jobless rate is falling across the state, many believe it’s a result, at least in part, to a diminished labor pool of discouraged job seekers who are systematically giving up their search after months or even years without a lead, interview or offer. According to Valle Pittman, “The state labor force dropped below 4.5million in November, the lowest level since summer 2006.”
Do you count yourself among the tens of thousands of North Carolina workers downsized in the wake of the economic crisis? After months or years of job searching, have you dropped out of the hunt completely? And in the process, have you accrued massive debts, fallen behind on your mortgage, and started dipping into retirement or saving just to stay current?
Then maybe now’s the time to take things into your own hands and possibly consider the bankruptcy solution. A qualified local bankruptcy attorney can help you allay your fears about mounting debts—yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights for a more focused financial future both in and out of employment. The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt in North Carolina offer a totally FREE debt consultation. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during off hours, make your own appointment online at www.billsbills.com.