Public sector jobs still growing

Each day seems to bring news of more layoffs. Each week brings reports of higher unemployment.

In this brutal job market, though, one sector remains resilient: government.

While North Carolina saw job losses in many industries this year, government employment grew and should increase slightly again next year, according to a recent UNC Charlotte economic forecast.

Those gains come as national, state and local jobless rates all are up this year and expected to rise in 2009. Double-digit unemployment is likely in many parts of the Carolinas.

During recessions that began in 1990 and 2001, the number of Charlotte area private sector jobs dipped both times. Government jobs, however, have grown every year since 1990, with local government leading the way.

Such stability has appeal, especially in a region rocked by the financial meltdown.

Among those applying for Mecklenburg County jobs in recent months, "we've seen more with Wachovia and Bank of America on their resumes than in past years," said Chris Peek, the county's human resources director.

To read the complete column, visit The Charlotte Observer.

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