What is worse than a rising unemployment rate? One that rises even when the labor force is shrinking.
That is called a Keynesian normal:
Unemployment in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill metro region increased to 9.5 percent from 9.1 percent, just slightly above the statewide unemployment rate of 9.4 percent. Rates are not seasonally adjusted.
In Mecklenburg County, the unemployment rate increased to 9.6 percent, up 0.6 percent from April and down 1 percent since last year.
And from the Charlotte Observer's print edition:
Compared to May 2011, unemployment rates have decreased in 88 counties. But compared to pre-recession levels, May’s jobless rates — as high as 16.9 percent in Scotland County — are still alarming, [John] Quinterno says.
In May 2008, the Charlotte metro region’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, he said — almost 4 percentage points lower than the latest figures.
“This recession has gone on so long, people have lost the perspective of what a healthy labor market looks like,” he said.