Tough Times for Tar Heels: North Carolina Job Losses Reach Record Highs Skip to main content

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Tough Times for Tar Heels: North Carolina Job Losses Reach Record Highs


A January 22 government report announced that unemployment rates rose in 43 states in December 2009, painting an all too bleak portrait of the job market—even as the economy continues to grow—and leaving many unemployed Americans bankruptcy bound.  This jump in joblessness marked a sharp turn from November 2009’s numbers, when 36 states had actually reported their unemployment rates fell.

This dire financial news hit hardest at home. North Carolina joined South Carolina, Delaware, and Florida as the four states that reported record-high jobless rates last month—marking more tough times for Tar Heels seeking signs of “help wanted.” North Carolina’s jobless rate has now risen to a staggering 11.2 percent with employment dropping by more than 31,000 positions.

These new figures ended a string of five consecutive months where unemployment had either improved slightly or stabilized and have put the state’s jobless rate squarely at 8th worst in the country.  A dubious distinction in troubled economic times.

According to WRAL News, as bad as the news is, the actual unemployment rate is likely higher, at least according to North Carolina State University economist, Dr. Michael Walden. “The rise in the unemployment rate was expected, and I think the rate could go higher before it declines,” Walden told  “However, what was unfortunate in the December report was that the rise in unemployment was totally due to a loss in jobs rather than ‘discouraged workers’ coming back into the labor force and looking for work,” he warned. “The labor force number actually fell in December.“If discouraged workers and underemployed workers (those working part-time only because they can't find full-time work), are included, then the unemployment rate is closer to 20 percent.”

In addition, like so many struggling states, North Carolina also saw sharp drops in restaurant, hotel and other leisure employment, a sign that consumers are still tentative when it comes to post-recessionary travel, tourism and spending. Nationwide, the United States lost 25,000 leisure and hospitality jobs in December. Of those, North Carolina shed 2,600 restaurant and hotel positions — more than any other sector in the state.

“Certainly, it’s frustrating out there right now,” North Carolina’s Employment Security Commission spokesman Larry Parker told WRAL.

And so the frustration continues, sometimes ending in insolvency.  Each and every week bankruptcy attorneys continue to meet with dozens of Americans in financial distress due to employment woes.  Each time those who have encountered job misfortune come into law offices feeling hopeless and at the end of their rope, perceiving no alternatives to their continuing fiscal faults.  Almost every time, however, it seems more and more when these same clients leave these offices, they finally feel some sense of relief for the first time since their joblessness began; they are reassured that the bankruptcy laws as well as the bankruptcy system offers them the possibility of a new start— at an affordable cost—and with it a financially viable and secure future. In short, bankruptcy relief can end worry and stress for jobless Americans, including many North Carolinians, living on a finite financial brink.

 Knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney in our areas can also help you conquer the effects of unemployment.  The bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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