06/27/12 — Wayne County's unemployment rate rises slightly

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Wayne County's unemployment rate rises slightly

By From staff reports
Published in News on June 27, 2012 1:46 PM

Wayne County's unemployment rate increased from April to May along with 75 other counties in the state, although two neighboring counties bucked the statewide trend.

Wayne County's unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage point from April to 8.6 percent in May, although that mark is still down 0.6 percent from May 2011.

Darlene Williams, director of the area's Division of Workforce Solutions office, said that two of the elements factoring into the increase are recent college graduates entering the job market and a decrease in job orders. She noted, however, that the onset of the farming seasons may cause decreases in the area's future rates.

"It's holding right now, but the number of people entering into the labor force affects the rates," Williams said. "Next month's might be slightly decreased."

Unemployment rates rose in 76 of North Carolina's 100 counties in May, fell in 21 and remained the same in three. When compared to May of last year, rates decreased in 88 counties, increased in eight, and remained the same in four according to the latest statistics released by the state's Division of Employment Security.

"I looked over last year's rates at this time in May and it was at a 9.2 percent here in Wayne County. That shows an improving trend," Mrs. Williams said.

Wilson County's unemployment rate rose half a percentage point to 13 percent in May compared with April, while Lenoir County's increased 0.4 percentage point to 10.2 percent.

Johnston County saw a month-to-month increase of 0.3 percentage point to 8.3 percent while Greene County's rate ticked up 0.1 percentage point to 10.2 percent.

From April to May, Sampson County's rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 8.1, while Duplin County's rate dropped 0.2 percentage point to 9.2.

North Carolina had 33 counties that were at or below the state's not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 9.4 percent.

Currituck County had the state's lowest unemployment rate in may at 5.2 percent, and Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 16.9 percent.

-- News-Argus intern Morgan McLaughlin contributed to this report.