09/30/10 — Officials: Signs indicate business is better

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Officials: Signs indicate business is better

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

Hiring of temporary workers has increased in Wayne County in recent weeks, indicating that employment might be making a turn for the better.

Bill Pate, manager of the Employment Security Commission in Goldsboro, said that while full-time hiring remains slow, staffing agencies are reporting improved numbers.

"Talking with our local industries, most are hiring slowly while still keeping an eye on the trends," Pate said. "Staffing agencies report to me that their business is really starting to pick up, which is a real positive sign. Many companies start to use more staffing agency workers as business shows improvement, which is good news. When they start the permanent hiring again, we know certainly that we are moving forward."

Wayne's unemployment rate decreased again, slightly, in August, continuing a trend in the region. The rate was 8.3, down from 8.5 in July.

"While it was only a slight change, it still continues moving in the right direction," Pate said.

The recent numbers continue a downward trend that began in March, with the exception of June. The rate began decreasing when it first dropped from 9.9 percent in February to 9.2 percent in March. It dropped to 8.6 percent in April and remained at 8.6 in May. The unemployment rate increased briefly in June to 8.8, then continued dropping in July to 8.5 and again to 8.3 in August.

The labor force in Wayne County totaled 52,761 in August with 48,357 people employed and 4,404 unemployed.

Most of the surrounding counties also saw a slight decrease in the unemployment rate, except for Johnston County, which increased.

Duplin County's August unemployment rate decreas-ed from 8.6 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August. Greene County's rate decreased from 10.1 percent in July to 9.5 percent in August. Johnston County's rate increased from 8.9 percent in July to 9.0 percent in August. Lenoir County's rate decreased from 10.6 percent in July to 10.3 percent in August. Sampson County's rate decreased from 8.4 percent in July to 8.3 percent in August. And Wilson County's rate decreased from 12.6 percent in July to 12.2 percent in June.

Statewide the unemployment rate also decreased from 10 percent in July to 9.8 percent in August.