12/02/12 — Unemployment numbers down

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Unemployment numbers down

By Staff Reports
Published in News on December 2, 2012 1:50 AM

County unemployment rates continued to drop against their 2011 figures in October according to a release Tuesday from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Wayne County's October rate of 8.4 percent unemployment is down nearly a full percentage point from October 2011, when the rate was 9.3 percent.

Statistics show Wayne County's labor force at 56,414 with 4,740 unemployed.

The rates nearby also show decreases from last year, with Johnston County leading the way. Its October 2011 rate decreased by 1.9 percent to 7.7 percent this year.

The rates in Duplin and Greene counties, 8.8 and 9.2 percent, respectively, were both down a full percentage point while Lenoir County's 9.4 percent unemployment rate represents a 1.6 percentage point decrease from October 2011.

Wilson County's rate was down 1.5 percentage points to 11.5 percent while 7.7 percent unemployment in Sampson county showed a decrease of 1.2 percentage points from last year.

In fact, only two of the state's 100 counties saw nominal increases in their unemployment rates, with Ashe and Gaston counties recording increases of one and two-tenths of a percentage point, respectively, over their October 2011 numbers.

Labor analysts often point to year-to-year comparisons for unemployment rate analysis as seasonal hiring can often result in fluctuations when considering monthly trends.

Still, the report shows 76 counties reported decreases in their unemployment rate from September to October of this year, with 16 counties showing increases and eight county rates holding steady.

The data also shows the state had 39 counties whose rates were at or below North Carolina's statewide unemployment rate of 8.8. That rate is not seasonally adjusted.

Currituck County once again boasted the state's lowest unemployment rate in October with 5.5 percent while Scotland County continued to hold the highest, with 15.7 percent unemployment.

Statewide, the unemployed have received just less than $3 billion in benefits from November 2011 through October 2012.