Might the Covid-19 recovery benefit NC’s young employment?

Monday, May 10, 2021
Jeff DeBellis

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, elevated numbers of unemployed, and challenges for businesses and consumers to return to normal safely, employers are having difficulty hiring workers in a very tight labor market.  The statewide unemployment rate has declined significantly from its peak last spring – but perhaps no more dramatically than among North Carolina’s youth.  According to the US Census/BLS Current Population Survey, unemployment among those ages 16 to 24 dropped from 34.7% in April 2020 to 4.7% in March 2021 – nearing the 25-year low of 4.5% in September 2018, as seasonally adjusted by the Labor & Economic Analysis Division of the NC Department of Commerce.  This data tends to fluctuate sharply month to month, but as the smoothed trend line in the chart above shows, now might be a good time for young people to get a job.