07/29/12 — Wayne jobless rate up in June

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Wayne jobless rate up in June

By Aaron Moore
Published in News on July 29, 2012 1:50 AM

Like most of the state, Wayne County saw a spike in unemployment in June, which officials attribute to the influx of recent high school and college graduates.

With an increase of 263 unemployed people, the county's rate is up to 9 percent -- an increase of 0.4 since May.

"It's almost a mirroring trend we see every year about the same time with graduates from high school and college," said Darlene Williams, director of the area's Division of Workforce Solutions office.

Though unemployment rose in 84 counties in June, Mrs. Williams said most of the state, including Wayne County, has seen improvement since June 2011.

"There is slight improvement over last year this time, but there's still a lot of unemployment," she said.

Last June 9.8 percent of Wayne County was unemployed, meaning there has been a 0.8 percent decrease in the last 12 months.

The overall improvement is a hopeful sign that jobs are growing in Wayne County, Mrs. Williams said.

On Friday, she said she has seen a slight increase in listings, with 118 job openings, although she said that number fluctuates from day to day.

"The economy's not ideal, but it's certainly a little bit better than at last year this time," she said.

Wayne's neighboring counties -- Wilson, Greene, Lenoir, Duplin, Sampson and Johnston -- all saw spikes in unemployment in June as well.

Wilson County rose from 13 percent in May to 13.6 percent in June. Greene rose from 10.2 to 10.9 percent, Lenoir from 10.2 to 10.7 percent, Duplin from 9.2 to 9.8 percent, Sampson from 8.1 to 8.6 percent and Johnston from 8.3 to 8.6 percent.

Scotland County had the state's highest June unemployment rate with 17.6 percent, while Currituck County had the lowest rate with 5.3 percent.