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Jobless rate increases

Published 11:44pm Friday, March 22, 2013

In the face of news that Oak Ridge Metal Works will be expanding and Pronamics Industries is coming to Beaufort County with the promise of jobs, the county’s unemployment rate increased in January.
The county’s jobless rate rose from 11 percent in December 2012 to 11.8 percent in January, according to figures released Friday by the N.C. Division of Employment Security. Each of the state’s 100 counties saw its unemployment rate increase during the same period, according to DES.
Neal Anderson, manager of the DES office in Washington, was out of the office Friday, attending a meeting. He was not available to comment on the latest unemployment rates in the area.
Larry Parker, a DES spokesman, said it’s normal for jobless rates in January to be higher than those in December.
“They’re not seasonally adjusted figures, so you’re going to see season fluctuations in these, and especially down your way, rates typically go up this time of the year,” Parker said.
Statewide, Parker said, the increase in jobless rates reflects the large loss of retail jobs after the year-end holiday season and a moderate loss of local government jobs, especially school-related jobs.
The state’s unemployment rate for January was 10.2 percent, according to DES, up from 9.4 percent in December 2012.
Beaufort County’s work force for January totaled 21,310 people. Of that number, 2,518 people were unemployed and 18,792 members of the work force were on the mob, according to DES data. Beaufort County’s work force for December was 21,077 people, with 2,348 of them unemployed and 18,729 employed, according to DES figures.
Hyde County’s unemployment rate rose from 15.4 percent in December 2012 to 15.7 percent in January, according to DES.
Martin County’s jobless rate went from 11.2 percent in December 2012 to 12 percent in January, according to DES data.
Washington County’s unemployment rate in January was at 13.5 percent, up from 12.5 percent in December 2012, according to DES figures.
Pitt County’s jobless rate rose from 9 percent in December 2012 to 9.9 percent in January, according to DES data.
For January, no county had a jobless rate at 5 percent or below. There were 24 counties with unemployment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent. Seventy-six counties had unemployment rates at 10 percent or higher, according to DES.
Of the state’s 100 counties, Orange County had the lowest jobless rate in January at 6.6 percent. Graham County had the highest jobless rate in January at 20.4 percent.
The jobless figures released by DES do not include unemployed people whose unemployment insurance benefits expired and who are not listed as unemployed. Factor in those people and a county’s true jobless rate is higher.

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