06/30/10 — Wayne County jobless rate dips for third straight month

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Wayne County jobless rate dips for third straight month

By Laura Collins
Published in News on June 30, 2010 1:46 PM

For the third month in a row, Wayne County's unemployment rate has dropped.

The county rate dropped from 8.6 percent unemployment in April to 8.4 percent unemployment in May.

The rate began decreasing earlier this year when it first dropped from 9.9 percent in February to 9.2 percent in March.

"We in Wayne continue on a slow but definite trend downward in our (unemployment) rates. As I continue to say, the trends are what we look for and it continues on a downward drift," said Bill Pate, Employment Security Commission branch manager.

Pate said more businesses are becoming comfortable with hiring more employees and consumers are becoming more comfortable with spending money.

"We are seeing more demand from local industry for workers hired either directly or through local staffing agencies. We additionally continue to see job listings in both food service and retail which again appears to be an increased demand in these areas reflecting more consumer confidence," Pate said. "Also, seasonal employment in food processing and agriculture have increased the employment roles locally."

In Wayne County the labor force for May was 53,419, of which 48,912 were employed and 4,507 were unemployed.

Some surrounding counties also saw decreases in their unemployment rate, though they still remain higher than Wayne, with the exception of Duplin. Duplin County's unemployment rate decreased from 8.5 percent in April to 8.1 percent in May; Greene decreased from 10.4 percent to 10.3 percent; Johnston decreased from 9.3 percent to 9.1 percent; and Sampson decreased from 8.4 percent to 8.1 percent.

Statewide the unemployment rate dropped from 10.1 percent in April to 9.9 percent in May. Unemployment rates dropped in 86 of North Carolina's 100 counties.