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State Government
State's Unemployment Falls Below National Rate PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 19 August 2016 10:28

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in July and for the first time in more than a year, is below the national rate which is at at 4.9 percent.

North Carolina’s July 2016 unemployment rate was 1.0 percentage point lower than a year ago. The number of people employed decreased 13,203 over the month to 4,601,491 and increased 114,518 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 12,953 over the month to 225,934, and decreased 47,154 over the year.

Seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, increased 12,000 to 4,340,600 in July. The major industries with the largest over-the-month increases were Government at 5,200, followed by Professional & Business Services, 3,300; Financial Activities, 2,600; Construction, 1,900; Education & Health Services, 1,700; and Other Services, 1,300. Major industries experiencing decreases were Manufacturing, 1,700; Trade, Transportation & Utilities, 1,500; Information, 400; and Leisure & Hospitality Services, 400. Mining & Logging employment remained unchanged over the month.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates since July 2015

  Jul 2015 Aug 2015 Sep 2015 Oct 2015 Nov 2015 Dec2015 Jan2016 Feb2016 Mar2016 Apr2016 May2016 June2016 July2016
N.C. 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.4 5.1 4.9 4.7
U.S. 5.3 5.1 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.9 4.9

* Please note: 2015 Numbers Have Been Annually Revised *

Since July 2015, Total Nonfarm jobs gained 94,100 with the Total Private sector growing by 79,200 and Government increasing by 14,900. The largest over-the-year increase among major industries was Professional & Business Services at 28,600, followed by Trade, Transportation & Utilities, 20,700; Government, 14,900; Leisure & Hospitality Services, 9,500; Education & Health Services, 8,900; Construction, 8,400; Other Services, 4,700; and Financial Activities, 200. Major industries experiencing decreases were Manufacturing, 1,400; and Information, 400. Mining & Logging employment remained unchanged over the year.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Wednesday, August 31, 2016 when the county unemployment rates for July 2016 will be released.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 August 2016 10:32
Toruism Spending Up 8 Percent Across the State PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 18 August 2016 12:48
Visitor spending has increased in all regions of North Carolina according to new data from Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, shows that domestic visitor spending has increased in 91 of the state's 100 counties.
These figures come one week after data showing visitation at the state's natural and cultural sites for Fiscal Year 2015-16 that ended June 30, 2016 is up nearly 8 percent compared to the previous year.
“Tourism is a major force in North Carolina’s economic development,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “The industry is fueling a continued growth in jobs and contributing substantial sums to the state budget and local economies in every corner of our great state.”
Visitors spent a record $21.9 billion statewide last year, an increase of nearly 3 percent from the previous year. In addition visitor expenditures directly supported 211,487 jobs and generated nearly $5.3 billion in payroll income across North Carolina. State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending topped $1.1 billion, and local tax revenues directly resulting from visitor spending totaled more than $660 million.
“Nothing compares with our state’s diverse natural beauty and rewarding experiences at every turn," said Secretary John Skvarla. "We can take pride in North Carolina’s position as the sixth most-visited state in the nation with nearly 55 million visitors last year.”
The visitor spending figures come from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina and conducted by the U.S. Travel Association. The study uses sales and tax revenue data, employment figures and other industry and economic data to determine the overall impact of visitor spending in North Carolina.
Full tables can be accessed here. Highlights of the new county-based data include:
Mecklenburg County ranked first among North Carolina's 100 counties, receiving $5 billion in domestic travelers’ expenditures. Wake County ranked second with $2.1 billion, followed by Guilford County with $1.3 billion and Dare with $1.1 billion. Buncombe County, for the first time, topped $1 billion in visitor spending.
The largest percent increases in visitor spending were seen in Polk (11.8 percent), Cherokee (7.8 percent), Vance (4.7 percent), Henderson (4.7 percent) and Union (4.6 percent) counties. Montgomery, Catawba and Cleveland counties followed with a 4.5 percent increase each. Rounding out the top 10 in largest increases were Richmond and Pasquotank counties (4.4 percent).
Positive spending growth was seen throughout the state’s economic development regions. The Western (3.9 percent) and North Central (3.3 percent) regions experienced the strongest growth, yet all eight regions had spending growth of 2 percent or more.
Mecklenburg County had the largest number of direct tourism employees (49,870) and the largest payroll ($1.7 billion). Four other counties had more than 10,000 direct tourism employees: Wake (21,897), Guilford (13,127), Dare (12,711) and Buncombe (10,637).
Ninety-two percent of the state’s counties saw direct tourism employment growth in 2015. Counties with the largest year-over-year increases in direct tourism employment were Polk (12.1 percent), Cherokee (7.4 percent), Vance (5.0 percent), Union (4.9 percent), Montgomery (4.8 percent), Richmond (4.7 percent) and Pasquotank (4.7 percent).
Rep. Hager Steps Down Citing Finances And The Need To Care For Parents PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 15 August 2016 13:30
House Majority Leader Mike Hager of Rutherfordton is resigning Tuesday. Hager told the Associated Press thcto care for aging parents and support himself financially.
Hager, who was first elected in 2010, was considered a leader of hard-line conservatives. 
Republicans in Hager's district meet Wednesday to name his successor. That appointee will face an unaffiliated candidate in November.
State Auditor Blasts DHHS No Bid Contracts PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 13:01
Raleigh - The State Auditor’s office found multiple instances of the Department of Health and Human Services handing out no-bid contracts in apparent violation of purchasing rules. 
The audit found no evidence that a $6.8 million no-bid contract with the Alvarez & Marsal consulting firm to help fix the operational dysfunction of Medicaid, was properly negotiated. DHHS hired the consulting firm to perform a number of functions for the Medicaid office. In the DHHS response, Secretary Rick Brajer said the contract was negotiated, but documentation of DHHS counter-offers was missing from the file.
The Raleigh News and Observer reports no evidence of negotiation was found for a $6.9 million contract with Quadel Consulting Corp. That company is working with DHHS on the Transitions to Community Living program, moving people with mental illnesses from institutions to community settings. About 30 smaller contracts, most for temporary medical staff, had no documentation indicating they were negotiated. 
Many of the no-bid contracts that required reviews by the Attorney General’s office, the Division of Purchase & Contract, or another office didn’t get them, the audit said.
Brajer said in his response that DHHS started reassessing its contracting and procurement practices in November 2015. “The initiative will strengthen policies and procedures to ensure required approvals are obtained,” he wrote.

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