10/25/09 — Jobless rate for August is down slightly to 8.8

View Archive

Jobless rate for August is down slightly to 8.8

By Laura Collins
Published in News on October 25, 2009 2:00 AM

For the second month in a row, Wayne County saw a decrease in unemployment.

August's unemployment rate dropped .01 percent from 8.9 to 8.8. Unemploy-ment Security Commission Manage Bill Pate said while it's a drop, the area isn't out of the woods.

"It dropped down just a little bit," he said. "It's not really significant in terms of the overall picture, but if you look at the counties around us, I still feel we're fortunate."

He also said business is still going strong at the Unemployment Security Commission.

"The rates probably won't drop significantly until early spring. We're still taking a harsh number of unemployment claims," he said. "I don't think we've turned the corner yet."

Pate did say there were some positive signs in the economy pointing toward an eventual turnaround in the unemployment rates.

"The stock market has started to move back up, and we're beginning to see some productivity increases in manufacturing," he said. "And when people start to see productivity increases, they start hiring."

In the area, however, he said there hasn't been any major hiring or layoffs.

"No one in particular is doing a great deal of hiring. Some people are returning to the automotive industries, but everyone is pretty much holding," he said.

In Wayne County, the labor force includes 52,193 people. Of those people, 47,622 are employed and 4,571 are unemployed.

In the area, Duplin County's unemployment rate remained the same at 8.7; Greene's rate dropped from 10.9 to 10.2; Johnston's dropped from 9.6 to 9.5, Sampson's remained the same at 8.3, and Wilson dropped from 12.8 to 11.9.

The unemployment rate dropped statewide from 10.7 to 10.4.