The Employment Security Commission released October numbers for NC counties. Read David Ranii's story to get the big picture, that the Triangle's unemployment rate has dropped to 7.5 from 8.7 percent a year ago.
In the Raleigh-Cary MSA, there are 8,000 more people working than October 2011. The biggest gain came in the category "Professional & Business Services," with 3,300 more workers. Next was "Education & Health Services," with 2,800 more employed. The biggest drag on employment came in "Government," with a drop of 2,100 employees, and "Mining, Logging & Construction," with a drop of 1,900.
In the Durham-Chapel Hill MSA, there are 4,200 more people working. The biggest jump, again, year over year, was in Professional & Business Services, with a gain of 1,800.
The ESC said that, compared to October 2011, 98 of North Carolina's counties have seen a drop in unemployment.
Five years ago, the Triangle's unemployment rate was below 4 percent. At the rate we are going, we may not see that level until 2015. In large measure, that depends on housing and government. Both sectors are still shedding jobs. If we go over the fiscal cliff, not only will the federal government cut positions, but federal aid to states and localities will get hammered. For a state government town, that has important consequences. Regardless of whether you are a liberal or conservative, government workers are indistinguishable from private sector workers in the way they spend on cars, housing and frappucino, and when they are laid off, there is less consumption in the local economy.