05/29/11 — Wayne's jobless number is stable

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Wayne's jobless number is stable

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 29, 2011 1:50 AM

Wayne County was among 17 counties in North Carolina to see no change in unemployment rates from March until April as the countywide percentage remained at 8.3 percent according to Friday's report from the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina.

The March average, which was initially reported as 8.2 percent on April 27, was revised in the past month to a more accurate 8.3 percent. Lenoir County's rate also remained at its March percentage at 10.2.

Seventy-three counties saw decreases in their unemployment rates, while 10 counties saw their rates increase.

Greene County, which was the only county in the state to see its unemployment increase from February to March, experienced a two-tenths of a percentage drop in April, to 10.3.

Wilson County's rate fell 0.4 percent to 11.8, Sampson experienced a 0.3 percent decrease to 8 percent and Johnston County recorded a 0.2 percent decline in its unemployment rate, down from a March mark of 8.9 percent.

Despite a 0.2 percent decrease in the unemployment rate in Orange County, which boasted the lowest rate in March and February, Currituck County emerged in April as having the lowest statewide unemployment rate at 5.6 percent. Scotland County's 15.8 percent unemployment rate was the highest in the state.

The report also contained the total amounts paid out by unemployment insurance in the past year, dating from May 2010 to April 2011.

Wayne County received $38,551,012 in payments during the past 12 months, compared to $39,719,599 during the 2009-10 year. Statewide, those qualified for unemployment benefits received $4,890,952,199 compared to last year's total of $5,421,309,492.

Larry Parker, the state employment security commission's public information officer, said this year's total includes all benefits paid out, not just those paid during the initial 26 weeks of regular benefits. It also includes money paid out through the state's extension program which was discontinued on April 16. He added that the extra federal $25, which was given out on top of all benefits packages as part of the economic stimulus plan, has been discontinued as well.