08/31/10 — Jobless rate decreases in Wayne, surrounding counties

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Jobless rate decreases in Wayne, surrounding counties

By Laura Collins
Published in News on August 31, 2010 1:46 PM

Wayne and surrounding counties' unemployment rates decreased in July.

Wayne County's unemployment rate decreased from 8.8 in June to 8.4 in July, according to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. This continues a decreasing trend in the county that was briefly interrupted in June when the unemployment rate increased ending the county's three-month streak of decreasing rates.

The June unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.7 percent from 8.6 percent in May. But the rate began decreasing earlier this year when it first dropped from 9.9 percent in February to 9.2 percent in March, then again to 8.6 percent in April.

Bill Pate, Employment Security Commission branch manager, said the decrease doesn't mean there is not work still to be done.

"Although the rate dropped in Wayne County from 8.8 to 8.4, we still continue to take a large number of initial (unemployment) claims," he said. "I believe that this will continue and we may see the rates fluctuate over the coming months."

Pate said many of the industries in Wayne County are doing hiring, but it's limited and not significant enough to affect the unemployment rates and in many cases the jobs filled are from turnover. He added, though, that the county is doing better than others.

"We are fortunate here in Wayne County to have fared better than the state and some of our sister counties," he said. "Hopefully this trend will continue, but with the national rate (9.5) and state rate (9.9) we may be affected in a negative way unless these rates show improvement."

In Wayne County, the labor force for July was 53,360 of which 48,866 people were employed and 4,494 were unemployed.

Surrounding counties also saw a decease in the July unemployment rate.

Duplin County decreased from 8.6 percent in June to 8.5 percent in July; Greene County decreased from 10.5 percent in June to 10.1 percent in July; Johnston County decreased from 9.3 percent in June to 8.8 percent in July; Sampson County decreased from 8.5 percent in June to 8.3 percent in July; and Wilson County decreased from 12.8 percent in June to 12.4 percent in July.