The North Carolina Employment Security Commission (“ECS”) released its September unemployment report last Friday, and according to the report, the construction sector in the State posted a net gain of 2800 jobs since the end of August. Overall, however, the State’s unemployment rate ticked up .1% to 10.5%, led by significant government sector losses.
ECS’s report indicates that in the last twelve (12) months, construction sector employment is down modestly — 400 net jobs. That suggests to me that the construction labor market has stabilized somewhat from the steep declines seen during the two-year period from October ’08 – October ’10.
Is the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (“ARRA”), better known as the federal stimulus bill, helping to bolster construction employment in North Carolina? Anecdotally, and as the N&O reports here, federal infrastructure spending is having positive ripple effects in connection with a $14.3 million road-and-bridge project in Johnston County. Still, and as the N&O’s story suggests, whether ARRA was actually worth the outlay is a question unlikely to be answered until the first Tuesday of November, 2012.