07/05/09 — Wayne County jobless rate jumps to back over 9 percent

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Wayne County jobless rate jumps to back over 9 percent

By Laura Collins
Published in News on July 5, 2009 9:11 AM

Wayne County's unemployment rate increased in May following two months of decreasing unemployment rates.

The rate increased 0.5 percent in the county from 8.7 to 9.2 percent in May, making it one of 82 counties experiencing an increase.

Statewide, the unemployment rate increased from 10.5 to 11.1 percent.

Bill Pate, Employment Security Commission Goldsboro branch manager, said the increase wasn't a surprise.

"I expected it," he said. "It's kind of following in the state and national rates. I expect rates to bounce up and down in the future. Hopefully it will turn around, but I think it will be the first or second quarter next year before it does go up."

Pate also said the increase could have been a result of recent college and high school graduates now attempting to find jobs. He added that not all the news is bad.

"Even though the rate went up a little bit, we're still seeing some positive signs of a turnaround," Pate said. "Contracting and residential construction is beginning to get a little better. In our county, manufacturing jobs are starting to look to hire again, not in great quantities, but there are some openings."

In surrounding counties, Duplin's rate increased from 9.0 in April to 9.2 in May; Greene increased from 10.7 to 11.1; Johnston increased from 10.1 to 10.2; Sampson increased from 8.2 to 8.4; and Wilson increased from 13.1 to 13.6.