02/03/10 — Jobless rate up slightly in December

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Jobless rate up slightly in December

By Laura Collins
Published in News on February 3, 2010 1:46 PM

The ever-fluctuating unemployment rate in Wayne County increased in December.

The county's rate rose from 9.0 in November to 9.2 in December. It joined 85 other counties in the state that saw an increase.

"Of course, the county continues to be affected by the recession," said Angie Downey, assistant manager of the Employment Security Commission. "Most job sectors have been affected."

She added that the recession has had an impact on most businesses across the board.

"I'm not aware of one more so than the others," she said. "We do not have a particular company that is doing a lot of hiring right now."

Still, the construction and building sector might be taking more of a hit.

"Right now is not a big time for construction in general, plus the issues with the economy, it appears as though construction is one of the industries highly affected," she said.

In Wayne County, the labor force consisted of 51,745 people for December. Of those people, 46,972 were employed and 4,773 were unemployed.

"At this point we're looking like the other surrounding counties as far as the unemployment rate," Ms. Downey said. "North Carolina had 44 counties that were at or below the state unemployment rate."

The state unemployment rate for December was 10.9 percent, an increase from November's 10.7 percent rate.

Most surrounding counties also saw an increase in the unemployment rate with the exception of Greene, which saw a drop from 10.2 in November to 10.1 in December. Duplin saw an increase from 9.1 percent to 9.3 percent in December; Johnston saw an increase from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent; Sampson saw an increase from 8.5 percent to 9.0 percent; and Wilson saw an increase from 12.1 percent to 12.5 percent.