Report predicts more job losses

July 6, 2009 9:11:04 PM PDT
A report released Monday predicted North Carolina's unemployment would hit 13 percent sometime in early 2010. Economists said it will go down as the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930's.

Currently, the state's unemployment is around 11.1 percent. Some counties do have a lower rate while others are higher.

Carlos Gains, who is unemployed, said Monday the recession couldn't get much worse. He said he has been job hunting for nearly a year.

"I'm going to gas stations, McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, trying to get a job like that," Gains said.

Economics said statewide more than half a million people are looking for work.

"The bad news is we don't think we have hit the peak in unemployment yet, we think that will occur in the first quarter of 2010," NC State Economist Mike Walden said.

In the economic report, Walden predicted unemployment could improve next year as the economy begins to rebound.

But many in the unemployment line like Jacquelyn Blandoe said it's not the future, but the present they worry about.

"It's real frustrating, because you have bills to pay and other things you want to do," Blandoe said.

Economists said as the economy improves and businesses start rehiring, jobs would open up. But Walden warned many wouldn't be as quick to spend money like before.

"People are more likely going to save more money before they go out and buy something, rather than just go out and put it on their credit card or take out a home equity loan," Walden said.

Jobless numbers across many counties are up for the month of May, but economic experts said they don't think the unemployment peak will be as bad as some first predicted around 14 to 15 percent.


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