The state unemployment rate decreased this July, according to a report by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
The rate has decreased from 4.4 percent in July 2017 to 4.1percent, a figure that sits just slightly above the 3.9 percent national average for July. The report said professional and business jobs are leading the employment boom, leaving UNC students feeling optimistic about their prospects in the coming years.
Tommy Boggis, a junior business major, plans to live and work in North Carolina after college. He cited the growing local economy and the strong national market as reasons for his confidence about the future.
“As a college student, I feel more secure because the market is so strong right now,” he said. “The demand for jobs from university graduates is high, especially with North Carolina becoming a greater hub for commerce.”
The Department of Commerce also reported that the rural-centered manufacturing and construction jobs have increased since 2017. Other areas that have seen growth include transportation and utilities, government and education and health services. One of the only industries to lose jobs was leisure and hospitality services.
“When I think about this growth, the first thing I think about is the large corporations that have moved to North Carolina,” said Boggis. “They’re providing jobs, attracting a lot of immigration and transplants to the state. They’re growing the economy.”
Boggis said the burgeoning economy has changed his mind about staying in North Carolina after graduation, specifying that Charlotte and Raleigh have become more attractive business destinations since he first came to UNC.
This sentiment is shared by many students on campus, including Rice Van Coutren, a senior exercise and sports science major.
“The current economy makes me feel a lot better about graduating,” he said. “It’s a little less scary than the place we were in a few years ago. I wasn’t so sure about getting a job back then.”
Boggis said he thinks that although President Donald Trump’s economic policies are risky in the long run, they may be providing a short term boom to local economies.
“We know it has to return to equilibrium eventually,” he said. “The bubble always pops, but right now our economy looks good, and I’m happy about that.”
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