07/29/07 — Unemployment rate in Wayne not a concern, official says

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Unemployment rate in Wayne not a concern, official says

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on July 29, 2007 2:01 AM

From May to June this year, Wayne County's unemployment rate rose half a percentage point to 5.1 percent.

But Bill Pate, manager of the Goldsboro branch of the N.C. Employment Security Commission, said that not-seasonally-adjusted increase is not something to be concerned about.

Wayne saw a similar increase last year when unemployment rose from 4.3 percent in May to 4.8 percent in June.

"You can pretty much count on that every year," he said. "You see a bit of a jump this time of year because of the high school and college kids coming into the (labor) market."

A similar increase also was seen statewide with the unemployment rate increasing from 4.8 percent in May to 4.9 percent in June. Nationwide the rate has remained steady at 4.5 percent.

Of North Carolina's 100 counties, 39 had rates lower than Wayne -- with Currituck at the bottom with 2.8 percent -- while 55 were above it -- with Scotland at the top with 11.3 percent.

Of those counties immediately bordering Wayne, Duplin's rate for June was up 0.4 percent to 5 percent, Greene was up 0.3 percent to 6 percent, Johnston was up 0.3 percent to 4.3 percent, Lenoir was up 0.4 percent to 6 percent, Sampson was up 0.4 percent to 4.6 percent and Wilson was up 0.5 percent to 7.6 percent.

Overall, Pate continued, Wayne County's economy is in fine shape, despite the small unemployment increase from 2006 to 2007.

"That's not really all that significant. We haven't had any layoffs in quite a while and by and large, 5 percent is considered to be full employment or pretty close to full employment," he said. "Our economy really is doing great."

Not-seasonally adjusted rates show unemployment conditions at the time the data was collected and seasonal fluctuations have not been removed. They are not generally used in determining the significance of economic trends.