County jobless rate is down for August
By Laura Collins
Published in News on September 29, 2009 1:46 PM
Wayne County saw a decrease in the unemployment rate in August for the first time since April.
The county's rate decreased from 9.7 percent in July to 8.9 percent in August. The unemployment rate in April, before it started increasing, was 8.7.
Bill Pate, of the Unemployment Security Commission, said while it's good to see the rate drop, he would like it to fall more.
"It's trends that are what are important. If we continue to see this happen, I'd be really encouraged," Pate said.
Pate said there could be several reasons the rate has decreased, including people moving and students returning to school.
"We're seeing some people go back to work, and we're seeing some limited hiring," he said. "I don't think we're seeing the large layoffs we saw in the beginning. Hopefully, we're headed in the right direction for a change."
Pate added that the automotive industry in the area is beginning to do some limited hiring.
"It's not blowing the top off of anything, but we are seeing some hiring and the layoffs are coming to an end."
The labor force in Wayne County is about 51,922 people. Of those people, 47,294 are employed and 4,628 are unemployed.
"I think Wayne County is as good as anybody. We're actually looking better than some of our surrounding counties."
In the area, Duplin County's unemployment rate decreased from 9.2 in July to 8.7 in August; Greene's rate decreased from 11.4 to 11; Johnston's rate decreased from 10.4 to 9.6; Sampson's rate decreased from 8.4 to 8.3 and Wilson's rate decreased from 13.6 to 12.9.
The unemployment rate also decreased statewide from 11.1 percent in July to 10.7 percent in August.