Published 5:29 pm Sunday, April 26, 2009

By Staff
Unemployment in area remains in double digits
Contributing Editor
Although unemployment rates fell from February to March in Beaufort, Hyde, Martin and Washington counties, their jobless rates remain in the double-digit category.
Beaufort County’s jobless rate fell from 11.8 percent in February to 11.4 percent in March, a drop of 0.4 percent, according to data released by the N.C. Employment Security Commission. A year ago, its jobless rate was at 6.3 percent.
Asked if the drop in the jobless rates in those four counties is an indication that unemployment rates may be stabilizing, a local ESC official was unsure if that is the situation.
Tyson said the double-digit jobless rates in the area are evidence of a continuing lousy economy.
And prospects for laid-off workers finding other employment are limited at best, she said.
Beaufort County’s work force totaled 21,212 people in March, with 18,784 of them working and 2,428 of them without jobs, according to ESC data. In February, Beaufort County’s labor pool had 21,401 people, with 18,857 on the job and 2,544 unemployed.
Through Friday, the ESC had paid out $853,086 in unemployment-insurance benefits within the past 30 days and $3,816,180 to date this year in Beaufort County.
The state’s jobless rate for March was 10.9 percent, a drop of 0.3 percent from February’s jobless rate of 11.2 percent.
Not one of the 100 counties had a jobless rate at 5 percent or below for February. Twenty-five counties had unemployment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent, with 75 counties experiencing jobless rates at or above 10 percent, according to ESC data.
Scotland County had the state’s highest unemployment rate in March at 16.6 percent. Orange County had the lowest jobless rate at 6.1 percent.
Info box stuff
Area jobless rates
and related information
Hyde County jobless rates
March: 12.4 percent
February: 14.6 percent
A year ago: 9.5 percent
Hyde County work force
March: 2,426 people — 2,125 working, 301 jobless.
Hyde County unemployment-insurance claims
Past 30 days: $56,224
Year to date: $340,904
Martin County jobless rates
March: 10.3 percent
February: 12.4 percent
A year ago: 5.5 percent
Martin County work force
March: 11,997 people — 10,765 working, 1,232 jobless.
Martin County unemployment-insurance claims
Last 30 days: $547,933
Year to date: $2,103,082
Washington County jobless rates
March: 11.6 percent
February: 12.3 percent
A year ago: 7.1 percent
Washington County work force
March: 6,296 people — 5,565 working, 731 jobless.
Washington County unemployment-insurance claims
Last 30 days: $410,920
Year to date: $1,267,222