Agency: North Carolina unemployment rate neared 13% in May

Agency: North Carolina unemployment rate neared 13% in May

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's unemployment rate neared 13% in May, a state agency said Friday, matching last month's adjusted figure that had soared due to massive layoffs and furloughs from the COVID-19 economic shutdown.

The new rate of 12.9% was higher than the April's rate of 12.2% when it was initially announced last month. But the April rate was revised upward, the Division of Employment Security said, so that it's now identical to May. Such revisions are common. The national rate for May was 13.3%.

The April and May rates still mark the highest seasonally adjusted rate for North Carolina since 1976, when records began being kept in the current manner, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In March, the state rate was just 4.3%.

The division said May's total employed workforce actually increased by 118,000 to April, exceeding 4.2 million. But that total is 663,000 workers below where it was in May 2019. The number of people unemployed in May increased by 16,000 since April to 621,700.

The division said separately on Friday that more than 712,000 people have now received some kind of unemployment benefits since mid-March, with $4.1 billion in federal and state funds paid out.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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