Jobless rates, unemployment claims increase
Published 8:27 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009
Demand overwhelms ESC’s computer system during two-day period
By MIKE VOSS
Unemployment rates in Beaufort, Hyde, Martin and Washington counties increased from October to November, as did jobless rates in the other 94 counties in the state, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
Beaufort County’s unemployment rate for November was 8.6 percent, a 1.3 percent increase from October’s jobless rate of 1.3 percent.
The state’s jobless rate for November was 7.8 percent, the highest rate since October 1983, according to an ESC news release.
Forty-two counties were at are below the state’s jobless rate for November.
With the increase in the unemployment rate comes an increase in the number of claims being filed from people seeking unemployment benefits.
The increase in claims became noticeable in early December, when Oswalt said layoffs at Fountain Powerboats and Impressions Marketing in Beaufort County will affect that county’s unemployment rates for November and December.
On Monday, the state’s ESC managed to pay out a one-day record of $31.5 million in unemployment benefits despite a computer glitch that prevented some people from filing claims. A problem developed Sunday when about 74,000 people tried to access the system, according to an ESC news release. The ESC corrected that problem. It thought it had fixed another problem caused by too many people, about 55,000, trying to file claims, but the system failed again Monday.
The system problem was solved by ESC adding a server, Oswalt said.
Beaufort County’s labor force in November was at 21,918 members, with 20,039 of them employed. That left 1,879 people unable to find work. Beaufort County’s work force in October totaled 22,027 members, with 20,424 people on the job and 1,603 people without jobs.
Hyde County’s unemployment rate increased from 4.7 percent in October to 7.5 percent in November, an increase of 2.8 percent.
Hyde County’s work force totaled 2,733 people in November, with 2,527 of them on the job, leaving 206 without work. Hyde County’s labor force was at 2,802 members in October, with 2,672 people working and 130 people unable to secure employment.
Martin County’s jobless rate increased 1.1 percent from October to November, rising from 7.3 percent to 8.4 percent.
Martin County’s labor force for November was at 12,250 people. From that work force, 11,221 people were employed, leaving 1,029 people unable to find work. Martin County’s work force totaled 12,186 people in October, with 11,307 people with jobs and 879 people unable to find employment.
Washington County’s unemployment rate for November was 8 percent, a 1.3 percent increase from October’s jobless rate of 6.7 percent.
Washington County’s work force totaled 7,438 people in November, with 6,840 of them on the job. That left 598 members of the work force without work. Washington County’s labor force in October was at 7,446 people, with 6,945 people on the job and 501 people unable to find employment.
In November, one county had a jobless rate at 5 percent or less. In October six counties had jobless rates at 5 percent or less.
Eighty-two counties had unemployment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent. During October, 91 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent.
In November, 17 counties had jobless rates at or above 10 percent. In October, three counties had jobless rates at or above 10 percent.
Orange County had the lowest jobless rate in November at 4.7 percent. Edgecombe County had the highest unemployment rate for that month at 13.3 percent.