County’s joblessrate falls|Across state, figures rise in 74 counties

Published 7:23 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Contributing Editor

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent from September to October, dropping from 11.2 percent in September to 11.1 percent in October.
The county’s jobless rate was at 11.3 percent in August. In July, the county’s jobless rate was at 11.6 percent. A year ago, the county’s jobless rate was at 7.8 percent.
Patrick Oswalt, director of the ESC office in Washington, believes the county’s jobless rate will remain in the 11 percent area in the coming weeks.
“I don’t expect much change either way for a while,” Oswalt said Tuesday.
Claims for unemployment-insurance benefits remain steady, Oswalt said.
Unemployment rates increased from September to October in 74 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Jobless rates decreased in 19 counties and remained the same in seven counties, according to unemployment data released Tuesday by the N.C. Employment Security Commission. The state’s jobless rate for October was 10.7 percent, up 0.3 percent from September’s rate of 10.4 percent.
“While some of the increases are seasonal, there is a continued effect throughout the state from this recession,” said ESC Chairman Moses Carey Jr. in a news release. “Helping the jobless find work continues to be one of our major goals. We have seen some hiring over the past month, but we also know that layoffs continue to take place. Meanwhile, the ESC is aggressively working to finish the necessary programming of our computer system so that the new extension of claims can be filed and paid.”
Beaufort County’s work force in October totaled 21,151 people, with 18,793 of them employed and 2,358 of them unemployed, according to ESC data. Beaufort County’s work force totaled 21,142 people in September, with 18,776 people on the job and 2,366 unable to find employment.
In August, Beaufort County’s work force totaled 21,113 people, with 18,733 on the job and 2,380 without jobs, according to ESC figures. In July, Beaufort County’s work force totaled 21,475 people, with 18,975 of them working and 2,500 unable to find work. In June, Beaufort County’s work force totaled 2,147 people, with 19,027 working and 2,447 without jobs.
As of Tuesday, Beaufort County residents had received $1,384,902 in unemployment-insurance benefits during the past 30 days. So far this year, residents have received $11,699,869 in benefits.
Martin County’s jobless rate fell 0.1 percent from September to October, declining from 10.6 percent to 10.5 percent.
Hyde County’s unemployment rate increased 0.2 percent from September to October, rising from 5.9 percent to 6.1 percent.
Washington County’s jobless rate increased 0.3 percent from September to October, rising from 11.6 percent to 11.9 percent.
In October, no county had a jobless rate at 5 percent or below, 36 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and 64 counties had unemployment rates had jobless rates at 10 percent of above, according to ESC data.