Jobless rate fallsPublished 1:27am Saturday, April 13, 2013
Following a trend in 99 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, Beaufort County’s unemployment rate decreased from January to February, according to the N.C. Division of Employment Security.
The county’s unemployment rate fell from 11.8 percent in January to 11 percent in February. Rockingham County was the lone county experiencing an increase in the unemployment rate from January to February, going from 11.7 percent to 12 percent.
“I think the biggest influence on the number for February was the labor force dropping like it did,” said Neal Anderson, manager of the DES office in Washington. “One hundred and seventy three dropped out of our labor force, and in a labor force of our size, that can make a pretty decent change. Unemployed numbers when down by 191. … That’s what’s making our rate there of 11 percent.”
The state’s unemployment rate for February was 9.5 percent, according to DES, down from 10.2 percent in January, according to DES data.
Beaufort County’s work force for February totaled 21,137 workers, with 2,331 of them unable to secure employment. Beaufort County’s work force for January totaled 21,310 people. Of that number, 2,518 people were unemployed, according to DES data.
For February, no county had a jobless rate at 5 percent or below. There were 40 counties with unemployment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent. Sixty 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 February at 5.9 percent. Graham County had the highest jobless rate in February at 20.2percent.
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.