Unemployment increases for July as more people enter workforce. Unemployment is up in North Carolina. The rate grew to five-point-seven percent in July, the highest in more than a year. Harry E. Payne Junior is chairman of the Employment Security Commission. He blames the increase on a growing labor force. While the number of workers in the state last month jumped by more than 14-thousand, the pool of workers increased by more than 30-thousand. The unemployment rate was up from five-point-three percent in June and five-point-four percent last July, according to figures from the commission.