North Carolina Lowers Unemployment to 16-Year Best, Adds Third-Most Jobs in Nation

Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina’s unemployment rate tied its lowest level in 16 years in May, dropping 0.2  points to 4.5% according to figures released by the state Department of Commerce on Friday.

North Carolina had the country’s third-highest jobs increase in May, adding nearly 19,000 over the previous month. The state has added more than 69,000 jobs in the past year.

“North Carolina is outpacing the nation and our regional neighbors in job creation as the state House of Representatives keeps our long-term commitment to providing tax relief to families, spending responsibly through balanced budgets and reforming regulations to improve our economic climate and lower the cost of doing business,” said House Speaker Tim Moore.

The Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly has cut billions in taxes for families and businesses since 2011, and the state has saved billions in reserves and reported hundreds of millions in budget surpluses this decade.

 The North Carolina General Assembly has proposed more tax reductions for families and businesses in the 2017 state budget.


In 2011, General Assembly leaders resisted demands from then-Governor Perdue to permanently install a $1 billion annual sales tax increase.  State taxpayers enjoy a lower and consistent 4.75 percent sales tax rate on all their purchases under Republican leadership, in addition to significant income tax reductions.

North Carolina’s estate tax – also known as the “Death Tax” – was repealed January 1, 2013.

Beginning in January 2014, the individual income tax fell from a top rate of 7.75 percent to a simplified, single 5.8 percent rate. Along with lowering rates, a larger standard deduction of $7,500 of income for singles and $15,000 for married filers was created.

In 2015 the North Carolina General Assembly cut personal income taxes for the second time in three years.  Starting in 2017 North Carolina’s personal income tax rate dropped from 5.75 percent to 5.499 percent and the standard deduction increased by $500.

North Carolina’s corporate tax rate – formerly highest in the southeast at 6.9 percent – was reduced to 6 percent in 2014, 5 percent in 2015, 4 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017.  Among states that have a corporate tax, North Carolina now has the lowest in United States.