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Many unemployed in NC go uncounted

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Unemployment number are not giving a true representation of the job market, according to career experts.

“If you look at the total number of people out of work it’s much higher than unemployment figure indicate,” said Damian Birkel, author and founder of Professionals in Transition, a support and networking group for the unemployed.

“When you receive your unemployment benefits you are counted as being unemployed,” he said. “When you no longer receive your unemployment benefits you are no longer counted. That doesn’t mean you got a job.”

The last report in May ranked North Carolina 30th in the country for unemployment.

Those numbers do not include the “hidden unemployed,” people still looking for work though they are no longer receiving benefits.

Last year around 30,000 people with extended benefits were deleted from the unemployment numbers when the benefits were cut. Unemployment benefits are scheduled to be cut again this July.

“They are still looking for jobs, they are still looking for work,” said David Talley, who is considered one of the many “hidden unemployed.”

Talley has been down the job hunting road a few times after being laid off from IT jobs.

“The numbers out by the government, that unemployment is down, the environment is better, the economy is proven — I’m concerned that those figures aren’t real figures,” he said.

Professionals in Transition is a free support group helping network for those looking for employment. The group meets each Thursday at the American Red Cross on Coliseum Drive from 7-8 p.m.

For more information, visit The group also helps with the Job Search Boot Camp Seminar held monthly at the REACT Center, located at 450 Hanes Mill Road.


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