09/25/11 — Wayne jobless rate ticks up slightly in August

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Wayne jobless rate ticks up slightly in August

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on September 25, 2011 1:50 AM

Wayne County's unemployment rate ticked up again in August, from 9.2 percent to 9.3 percent -- a figure 0.8 percent higher than in August 2010.

Wayne was joined by 46 other North Carolina counties in increases, though rates decreased in 32 and remained the same in 21.

While reports in previous months have blamed public sector layoffs for the unemployment increases, the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina said in its newest report, released Friday, that the statistics showed the organization needed to stay focused on assisting customers with services to find jobs in what ESC Chairman Lynn Holmes referred to as a "static economy."

One county's rate did decrease substantially during August, however, as Currituck County became the first North Carolina county this year to report an unemployment rate of less than 5 percent. Currituck's rate, the lowest in the state, was 4.5 percent, a decrease from July's mark of 5.2 percent.

The unemployment rate in Wilson and Lenoir counties remained the same. Wilson County's rate remained at 13.6 percent, while Lenoir County's rate stayed at 10.9 percent. The rate rose 0.3 percent in Johnston County to 9.7 percent, while Greene County saw a rise from 10.5 percent to 10.6 percent. Duplin County's rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage to 9.4 percent and Sampson County's rate saw a 0.1 percent drop to 9.1 percent.

Scotland County holds the state's highest unemployment rate with a 17.6 mark, though that percentage is down from July's 17.7 percent.