Local unemployment rate rises

BURLINGTON — The local jobless rate in Alamance County rose from September to October but remained below the level posted a year ago.

The unemployment rate increased from 3.3% in September to 3.9% in October, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

The rate still was lower than the 4.2% level in October 202.

Alamance County has reached a point where the county’s job market stood prior to the onset of the pandemic, which is close to the lowest unemployment levels it has had in the 21st century, said Brandon Sheridan, associate professor of economics at Elon University.

“That being said, I think there is more potential for conditions to worsen than improve over the coming months,” Sheridan said. “With more interest rate hikes on the horizon, residential and business construction will likely decline. The Fed is doing its best to ensure this is a minimal decline, but only time will tell if they are able to thread that needle.”

Statewide, unemployment rates increased in 99 counties from September to October while decreasing in one county, Warren County in the eastern part of the state.

When compared to the same month last year, unemployment rates decreased in 61 counties, increased in 30 counties and remained unchanged in nine.

The number of workers employed statewide decreased in October by 2,629 to 4.9 million while the number unemployed increased by 32,875 to 202,689. Since October 2021, the number of workers employed statewide has increased by 135,671, while the number unemployed decreased by 6,888, according to the state Commerce Department.

Sheridan said that the Federal Reserve Board’s attempt to curb inflation through interest rate increases will determine the direction of the economy.

“I think it is clear that the Fed's interest rate hikes are having the expected effect,” the professor said. “That is, although inflation rates are starting to slow down, there are some slow-moving downward trends in employment.”

This article originally appeared on Times-News: Local unemployment rate rises