As the General Assembly gets down to business today, we thought we’d check in with the number crunchers over at the Department of Commerce to see how things are coming along when it comes to the state’s unemployment picture.
And it looks like the Republican supermajority is starting off on the right foot: unemployment is at the lowest levels since April 2008. The latest numbers have the state’s unemployment rate at just 5.5% — down from a staggering 10.4% back in the days when it seemed that the state’s economy had two left feet.
And since January 2011, when voters put Republicans in charge of the state legislature, a quarter of a million new private sector jobs have been created here in North Carolina; 15,000 or so were created in December alone.
Since that time (among other accomplishments), Republicans have cut personal and corporate taxes, reduced regulations, cut government waste, nearly paid off a $2.8 billion debt to the feds and reformed the state’s broken unemployment insurance system by scaling back the amount of time people can get unemployment benefits and bringing them more in line with those of our neighboring states. (For more on the exciting changes afoot at the Division of Employment Security, click here.)
Categories experiencing the largest increases over the last month were professional services, trade, transportation, utilities, and construction. The only major category experiencing a net decrease over the last year were government jobs, by 5,400 (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing).
“The latest report released today continues to show that North Carolina is headed in the right direction when it comes to creating jobs and rebuilding the economy,” said Governor McCrory in a statement. “While we are seeing more and more positive news on our economy, we must continue making the tough decisions that will move our state forward in a positive direction.”
In other news, Representative McGrady was officially appointed today by House Speaker Tim Moore to chair the full Appropriations Committee as well as to serve as Vice-Chairman of both the Judiciary and Environment Committees. He will also serve on the Agriculture Committee, the Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Commerce and Job Development Committee, the Education Committee on Universities, the Ethics Committee, and the Transportation Committee.