Unemployment rate remains near 10%Published 10:26pm Thursday, January 3, 2013
Beaufort County’s unemployment rate increased in November, notching up three tenths of a percent from October figures, according to a report released Thursday.
More than 21,000 people were employed in Beaufort County in November. More than 2,200 people were unemployed, giving the county a 10.3 percent unemployment rate. October’s unemployment rate was 10 percent.
The trend was echoed in 80 more North Carolina counties. Thirteen counties saw a decrease in unemployment and the remaining six were unchanged, according to a report released Thursday from the Unemployment Security, a division of North Carolina’s Department of Commerce.
“It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted series,” the report said.
Despite the slight rise in the county’s monthly unemployment rate, the area is still faring well when compared to November 2011.
Beaufort County’s unemployment is down 1.3 percent from November 2011’s 11.6 percent.
That trend was also statewide. The unemployment has dropped in 95 counties and 14 metro areas since November 2011.
While the state saw an average 3 percent job growth since November 2011, Fayetteville and Wilmington both saw just a 0.2 percent increase in employment, and Winston-Salem fell even further behind, experiencing 0.7 percent drop employment (for a total loss of 1,400 jobs) over the same period.
These metros may be struggling even more than the unemployment rates suggest, due to the long-term trends in their labor force—the pool of workers who are either employed or looking for work. In all three metros, the labor force grew at a significantly slower pace than the 1.7 percent statewide average.
In Fayetteville, the labor force grew by just 1.2%, and even more troublingly, the labor essentially remained stagnant in Wilmington (which grew by just 0.4%) and Winston-Salem (which grew by just 0.1% since 2011, suggesting that too many unemployed workers are giving up on finding work and dropping out the workforce altogether.
“While the labor market is clearly continuing to improve, the longer-term concern for North Carolina is the wide disparities in job growth across the state,” said Allan Freyer, Policy Analyst with the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. “The ongoing stagnation in the labor force in Winston-Salem and Wilmington are of special concern.”
December’s state unemployment rate will be released Friday, Jan. 18.