Chatham’s job numbers higher than pre-recession

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 3/22/19

Chatham County appears to have rebounded smoothly from the recession of 2008, at least when it comes to job numbers.

According to a report released last week from the N.C. Budget & Tax Center, …

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Chatham’s job numbers higher than pre-recession

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Posted

Chatham County appears to have rebounded smoothly from the recession of 2008, at least when it comes to job numbers.

According to a report released last week from the N.C. Budget & Tax Center, the county has seen higher-than-state-average numbers in terms of job growth, labor force participation and share of the population with a job.

Chatham County’s unemployment rate has consistently been lower than the state’s and saw a higher increase in labor force participation (1.9 percent) and employed persons (2.4 percent) than North Carolina as a whole over the past year. Labor force participation is defined as the number of working-age people who have a job or are actively looking for work.

The county also has 131 less people unemployed and 3,103 more people in the labor force than before the 2008 recession. The state overall has less people employed and less people in the work force since that time.

A news release associated with the report stated that while North Carolina “continues to add jobs,” the pace of growth over the last few months “has been slower than at any time since 2011.”

“We keep hearing that the economy is roaring along, but the data tell a decidedly different story,” said Patrick McHugh, senior policy analyst with the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the N.C. Justice Center. “North Carolina has never gotten back to the level of employment that existed before the Great Recession, and if the recent pace of growth persists, we won’t get there before the next recession comes along.”

Prior to the recession, 62.1 percent of North Carolinians were working and 65.3 percent were in the labor force. As of January, 58.6 percent are working and 61 percent are in the labor force. The report did not make any statements regarding potential reasons for the statewide dip, something that has not affected Chatham County.

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