04/13/10 — Wayne jobless rate drops for February

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Wayne jobless rate drops for February

By Laura Collins
Published in News on April 13, 2010 1:46 PM

The Wayne County unemployment rate dropped in February for the first time since October.

The February unemployment rate was 9.8 percent, down from 9.9 percent in January. The rate was 9.2 percent in December and 9.0 percent in November.

"It went down, which is a good thing," said Bill Pate, Employment Securities Commission Goldsboro branch manager. "Of course, I still think we're in store for a slow recovery."

Pate added that there are some areas in the county that are bouncing back.

"On a positive note, I'm beginning to see small construction going back to work and commercial construction is still doing pretty well," he said. "There's some light at the end of the tunnel, but again, I think it's going to be slow."

At the Unemployment Security Commission, Pate said staff usually hold two classes each day for people with unemployment claims, but the number of people filing has also decreased.

"We've noticed a difference in the number of initial claims," he said. "The numbers have dropped off, and (last week) alone, we haven't had a second group to do each day."

In Wayne County the workforce is 52,990, of which about 5,212 are unemployed.

The unemployment rate continued to rise in surrounding counties. Duplin County's unemployment rate increased from 9.9 percent in January to 10 percent in February; Greene increased from 11.2 percent in January to 11.4 percent in February; Johnston increased from 10.9 percent in January to 11.2 percent in February; and Wilson increased from 12.9 percent in January to 13 percent in February.

Statewide, the unemployment rate increased from 11.7 percent to 11.8 percent.