Unemployment rates in region are fluctuating|Beaufort County’s unemployment rate same in May, June

Published 9:00 am Sunday, July 26, 2009

Contributing Editor

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate was unchanged from May through June, according to data released by the North Carolina Employment Security Commission on Friday.
Beaufort, Martin and Washington counties continue to have double-digit unemployment rates. For June, Hyde County shares the lowest unemployment rate in the state with Currituck County at 6.2 percent.
Beaufort County’s jobless rate was 11.4 percent in those months, according to ESC unemployment information released Friday. The state’s unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percent, rising from 11 percent in May to 11.2 percent in June.
Twelve months ago, the county’s unemployment rate was 7.1 percent.
“I’m not seeing anything any worse, but I’m not seeing any improvement,” said Patrick Oswalt, director of the ESC office in Washington, about area jobless rates. “We just seem to be stagnant.”
The office has experienced no significant increase in the filing of claims for unemployment insurance benefits in recent weeks, but it is handling a steady stream of filings, he said.
There have been no large-scale layoffs by area employers in recent weeks, Oswalt said.
In June, Beaufort County’s work force totaled 2,147 people, with 19,027 working and 2,447 without jobs. In May, Beaufort County’s work force totaled 21,387 people, with 18,932 of them working and 2,455 unable to find work.
As of Saturday, county residents had received $831,491 in unemployment-insurance benefits during the past 30 days. So far this year, residents have received $6,338,936 in benefits.
Unemployment rates were up in more than half of the state’s 100 counties, according to ESC statistics. Rates increased in 56 counties, decreased in 32 counties and remained the same in 12 counties.
“Outside of a few counties, there wasn’t a lot of change in the rates going up or down,” said ESC Chairman Moses Carey Jr. in a news release. “Throughout the state, we’ve had gains in both employment and unemployment. We are seeing some summer hiring, but not at the pace in previous years. At the same time, we are still dealing with some job loss, and the ESC continues to be there for those individuals needing work search assistance or help with filing for unemployment benefits.”
North Carolina had 49 counties which were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 11.2 percent.
Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 17.22 percent.
Not one of the 100 counties had a jobless rate at 5 percent or below for June. Twenty-eight counties had unemployment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent in June, with 72 counties experiencing jobless rates at or above 10 percent, according to ESC data.
Area jobless rates
and related information
Hyde County jobless rates
June: 6.2 percent
May: 7.1 percent
A year ago: 4.6 percent
Unemployment benefits paid in past 30 days: $29,594
Unemployment benefits paid year to date: $425,242
Martin County jobless rates
June: 11.2 percent
May: 11.1 percent
A year ago: 6.7 percent
Unemployment benefits paid in past 30 days: $367,692
Unemployment benefits paid year to date: $3,402,098
Washington County jobless rates
June: 12.2 percent
May: 11.8 percent
A year ago: 7.4 percent
Unemployment benefits paid in past 30 days: $385,508
Unemployment benefits paid year to date: $2,388,845
Source: N.C. Employment Security Commission