12/05/11 — Unemployment down almost everywhere

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Unemployment down almost everywhere

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on December 5, 2011 1:46 PM

Unemployment rates fell across the state in October according to the latest data released by the North Carolina Employment Commission Thursday.

The report shows a month-to-month decrease of half a percentage point in Wayne County's unemployment rate, as the rate dropped from a readjusted September mark of 9.1 to 8 .6 percent in October.

Wayne County joined 83 other counties in a decrease, although the rate increased in 12 counties and remained the same in five.

Darlene Williams, manager of the Wayne County Employment Security Commission office, said the drop was good news and came as a result of an increase in job orders, but that the month-to-month shifts aren't telltale signs of economic recovery.

"We are cautiously optimistic about this decrease in the unemployment rate. Even though we are currently 0.5 percent less than the previous month, when we look at October 2010, we were actually at 8.1 percent so even at our 8.6 percent we're still 0.5 percent greater than what we did last year at this same time," she said.

Ms. Williams also said the decrease in unemployment could have to do with seasonal hiring, although there was also an increase in manufacturing job openings. She said the trend of seasonal hiring might continue through the Christmas season, but added that the rate still meant there are those in the area who are unable to find employment.

"One thing is just don't give up," she said for those still seeking, but not finding, jobs. "We're still getting out in the community and promoting Employment Security services. We are continuing to promote our services to the employers and to the general public."

Other counties in the area also showed decreases, as Wilson County's rate dropped from 12.8 percent in September to 12 percent in October. Sampson County's rate fell to 8.4 from 9 percent previously and Lenoir County's rate from 10.4 to 10.1. Greene County saw a 0.6 percentage drop to 9.1 from 9.7 and Duplin County's rate dipped below 9 percent -- 8.8 percent -- after a September mark of 9.4 percent.

Johnston County, however, was the only county to stay on pace with its October 2010 rate, as its 9 percent unemployment rate in October matched its rate from the previous year. Johnston County's September rate was 9.3 percent.

The other counties in the area showed an increase from October 2010 to October 2011, with Wilson County's 2010 rate showing an 11.4 and Sampson County's rate a year ago at 7.8. Lenoir County's rate was 10 percent, while Greene County's was 7.9 percent and Duplin County's was 7.8 percent.