12/02/09 — Wayne jobless rate steady

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Wayne jobless rate steady

By Laura Collins
Published in News on December 2, 2009 12:15 PM

For the second month in a row, the county's unemployment rate remained steady at 8.8 percent.

The rate is a decrease from August's unemployment rate of 8.9 percent.

Bill Pate, of the Unemployment Security Commission, said he was surprised at October's unemployment rate.

"It stayed the same. I was pleasantly surprised that it stayed the same. I thought it would have gone up. The state went up and I thought we would have followed suit." he said.

Pate then added that he doesn't think the steady unemployment rate is going to keep dropping, that the county's rate will rise again before it comes back down and levels off.

"I really think we're going to see the numbers rise before we see them come back down."

Pate said it's possible the unemployment rate remained steady because there is still some "trickle down effect" from the federal Cash for Clunkers program.

Additionally, he said there have not been layoffs recently, nor has there been large hires.

"I'm not seeing a lot of job orders. I think most of the positions open we're seeing are from people who left and the positions are being refilled," he said. "But I'm not seeing any new openings at all."

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

Wayne was one of the only surrounding counties, in addition to Greene, that did not see an increase in October's unemployment rate.

Duplin County's rate increased from 8.6 in September to 9.0 in October; Greene County's rate decreased from 10.3 to 10.1; Johnston County's rate increased from 9.5 to 9.6; Sampson County's rate increased from 8.3 to 8.7; and Wilson County's rate increased from 11.9 to 12.2.

Statewide the unemployment rate increased from 10.4 percent in September to 10.7 percent in October. The unemployment rate increased in 74 of the state's 100 counties in October.