Updated 09/21/2012 05:16 PM
NC unemployment rate continues to rise; Hits 9.7 percent in August
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CHARLOTTE – North Carolina's unemployment rate crept up again in August to 9.7 percent, making it the fifth highest in the country.
The number is up one-tenth of a percent from July with nearly 6,000 more people being out of work. Experts say job losses in construction, manufacturing and trade work drove the increase.
North Carolina's unemployment rate is down a percentage point from where it was a year ago but it hasn't budged downward in months. The numbers will only fuel the political debate about the state of our economy and political scientists say it's bad news for Democrats in North Carolina.
"When that kind of presentation of a campaign theme is presented to voters, they're typically going to say, 'you know what, we gave one party a shot now it's time to give the other party a shot.,'” said Catawba College professor Michael Bitzer.
Economists say the jobless situation could be worse than the numbers show because so many discouraged workers are quitting the job hunt. That could drive the unemployment rate up even more as we head into the final quarter of the year.
Unemployment rates also rose in more than half the states last month and dropped in about 12.