NC Sees Increase in Unemployment Applications

February 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm

The U.S. Labor Department released the most recent numbers on weekly unemployment applications today.  The numbers show that initial claims dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 366,000.  This is part of a trend, showing an average 2,250 drop in applications over the last four weeks and a significant drop over last years average of 372,000.

However, the same report announced dismal news for North Carolina.  North Carolina was the only state that had applications increase over the week of January 26th by more than 1,000.  During this week, the Labor Department estimates that North Carolina saw an additional 2,030 new applications for unemployment insurance. This is a sign of additional layoffs, accredited to the construction, petroleum, and building material industries.

As small businesses make up 99.7 percent of the U.S. Employer firms and represent 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs, many policymakers are turning to small businesses as the engine to help North Carolina build out of this unemployment problem.  One way that is helping spur economic growth in different regions is through ensuring that all economic opportunities are available to all small businesses.  A recent interview with the CEO of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) states that even though women-owned businesses represent roughly 29% of the number of current firms in the U.S. according to the SBA, the government historically fails to reach its target to award even 5% of eligible federal contracts to these companies. At the same time, women-owned businesses are often smaller and have fewer employees than similar man-owned companies. Federal contracts are a huge revenue opportunity for small businesses. If all small business owners had the awareness and capital to equally access these federal contracts, it would help women and minority -owned small businesses grow their businesses and hire more employees.

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Entry filed under: Economic Development, Jobs & Employment, Small Business.

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