08/31/11 — Public sector layoffs blamed for uptick in jobless rate

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Public sector layoffs blamed for uptick in jobless rate

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on August 31, 2011 1:46 PM

July's unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage from June in Wayne County as part of a statewide trend that saw 52 counties with an increased rate or one that remained the same.

Wayne County's unemployment rate rose from 9.1 to 9.2 percent, which also showed an increase from July 2010 when the rate was 8.8 percent.

The monthly report, released Friday from the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina, pointed to layoffs in government jobs, especially in the field of education, outstripping hiring in the private sector as the main cause for the statewide decline.

Darlene Williams, the Wayne County ESC director, said that trend was the case in Wayne County as educators in public schools and in daycare positions had suffered layoffs between June and July.

Forty-eight counties saw decreases in their rates from June to July, while 44 were at or below the state's unadjusted unemployment rate of 10.3 percent.

Johnston County's rate fell from 9.5 to 9.4 percent while Lenoir County's dipped to 10.9 percent from 11.1. Wilson County saw a 0.1 percent rise to 13.6 percent, while Duplin County's rose to 9.5 percent from 9.1. Sampson County's rate increased from 8.7 percent to 9.1 percent. Greene County recorded the largest decline in the area as its July unemployment rate dropped to 10.5 percent from a June mark of 10.9.

Currituck County holds the state's lowest unemployment rate at 5.2 percent while Scotland County's 17.7 percent is the highest in the state.