05/13/11 — March jobless rate down in Wayne, but up in Greene

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March jobless rate down in Wayne, but up in Greene

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 13, 2011 1:46 PM

Wayne County's unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 percent from February to March, according to the latest statistics from the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina.

Wayne's February mark of 8.5 percent fell to 8.2 percent in March, according to statistics from the commission.

Wayne and 99 other counties in the state saw their unemployment rates drop, with only one county, Greene, experiencing a rise.

Greene County's February mark of 10 percent rose to 10.5 percent in March, although Employment Security Commission of North Carolina public information officer Director Larry Parker said the data can be misleading.

"You've got a pretty small labor force so any small change can have an impact on the unemployment rate," he said. "Sometimes month to month isn't the best way to know what's going on in a county."

Parker noted that totals of both those employed and unemployed in Greene County rose from February to March, indicating that more people entered the labor force.

Wilson County's rate fell a tenth from February to March to 11.8 percent, Johnston County's employment percentage fell by half a percent to 8.9, Lenoir's from 10.4 percent to 10.2 percent and Duplin's to 8.5 percent from February's 9 percent. Sampson County boasts the second lowest employment rate in the area after Wayne with an 8.3 percent mark, down from 8.7 percent a month earlier.

Graham County notched March's highest unemployment rate at 16.4 percent, 0.9 percent lower than the previous month, while Orange County maintained its reign as the county with the lowest unemployment rate at 6.1 percent.