Unemployment in the Charlotte metro went up to 9.5 percent in May, up from 9.1 percent in April, with the unemployment rate in Mecklenburg County at 9.6 percent in May.
That’s bad enough. What’s worse is we’re also seeing the labor force shrink — in other words, some people have stopped looking because things are so bad.
The Charlotte Observer had a quite decent story in their Saturday print edition on the latest numbers, but the online version (see link above) contains none of that. A highlight:
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.
Exactly. We have as a society become so accustomed to economic suffering, that we’re accepting it as the new normal. Which is quite scary and, to me as a social scientist, quite fascinating.