04/03/11 — Wayne January jobless numbers up

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Wayne January jobless numbers up

By Staff Reports
Published in News on April 3, 2011 1:50 AM

Unemployment in Wayne County rose in January from 8.2 percent in December to 8.9 percent, still more than a percentage point below the state average for the month.

Increases in winter unemployment are not uncommon, particularly after the holidays and particularly when the weather is bad.

Surrounding counties also saw increases for the most part, with Duplin rising from 8.9 to 9.5 percent, Greene rising from 9.2 to 10 percent, Johnston rising from 8.8 to 9.6 percent, Lenoir rising from from 10.2 to 10.7 percent, and Sampson rising from 8.4 to 9.2 percent.

The lowest rate in the state was 6.5 percent in Orange County, while the highest was 19.4 percent in Graham County.

In Wayne, January saw a workforce of about 51,499 people, with 46,933 of those working.

However, those employment numbers are expected to improve with county rates for February. The state unemployment rate for February was 9.7 percent.

In 2010, the February rate was 11.4 percent.

"We are showing signs of slow but steady progress, with job gains in February and over-the-year," said Employment Security Commission Chair-man Lynn R. Holmes.