12/03/07 — Jobless rate holds steady for October

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Jobless rate holds steady for October

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on December 3, 2007 2:13 PM

Wayne County's unemployment rate remained unchanged from September to October, holding steady at 4.6 percent -- even with the state average.

"That's steady as she goes," said Bill Pate, manager of the Goldsboro branch of the N.C. Employment Security Com-mission. "And it's really good because anything below 5 percent is considered full employment. That means there are jobs out there for qualified folks."

Wayne County's rate also is slightly lower than its October 2006 mark of 4.8 percent.

"That speaks of the strength of the economy," Pate said.

Of North Carolina's 100 counties in October, 54 had higher rates, three were the same, and 43 were lower.

As has been the case all year, at the top of the list was Scotland County with 9.4 percent unemployment, while Currituck County remained at the bottom with 2.6 percent.

Of those counties immediately bordering Wayne, Duplin's rate for October dropped 0.1 percent to 4.3 percent, Greene was down 0.2 percent to 4.8 percent, Johnston fell 0.1 percent to 4.0 percent, Lenoir held steady at 5.2 percent, Sampson was down 0.1 percent to 3.9 percent and Wilson dropped 0.1 percent to 5.7 percent.

Overall, said state ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr., the trend across the state has been a good one.

"Since January ... 85 counties have lower unemployment rates," he said in a written statement. "North Carolina businesses continue to add workers, and new job announcements give us hope that this growth will continue."

Across the state, though, both total employment (4.31 million people) and the civilian labor force (4.53 million people) were down ever so slightly.

Nationally, according to the United State Labor Depart-ment, the number of unemployed persons -- 7.2 million -- was virtually unchanged last month, as the unemployment rate held steady in October at 4.7 percent. That is slightly higher from last year at this time, when 6.7 million people were unemployed for a jobless rate of 4.4 percent.

Currently, though, total employment (146 million people) and the civilian labor force (153.3 million people) are holding steady.

Not seasonally adjusted rates show unemployment conditions at the time the data was collected, with seasonal fluctuations not yet removed. Therefore, those rates are not generally used in determining the significance of economic trends.