Jobless rate rises in Beaufort County

Published 3:19 pm Saturday, January 9, 2010

Contributing Editor

Unemployment rates in three area counties — Beaufort, Hyde, and Washington — increased from October 2009 to November 2009, according to figures released by the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.
Beaufort County’s jobless rate increased from 11.1 percent in October to 11.4 percent in November, a uptick of 0.3 percent.
From October to November, unemployment rates increased in 60 of the state’s 100 counties, decreased in 31 counties and remained the same in nine counties, according to ESC figures release this week. North Carolina had 44 counties which were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 10.77 percent for November.
Patrick Oswalt, director of the ESC office in Washington, believes Beaufort County’s jobless rate will remain at its current level for several months, possibly improving when spring arrives.
“There is no catalyst out there right now change anything,” Oswalt said Thursday.
Oswalt attributed the increase in the jobless rate from October to November to “seasonal” influences.
Beaufort County’s work force for November totaled 21,129 people, with 18,726 of them on the job. That left 2,403 people without employment, according to ESC figures. Beaufort County’s work force in October totaled 21,151 people, with 18,793 of them employed and 2,358 of them unemployed. 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.
As of Wednesday, Beaufort County residents had received $210,265 in unemployment-insurance benefits during the past 30 days. So far this year, Beaufort County residents have received $18,378 in benefits.
Action by the ESC last week provided millions of dollars in benefits under the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest extension of unemployment benefits.
“Many of the state ’s counties experienced a small change in their unemployment rates,” said ESC Chairman Moses Carey Jr. in an ESC news release. “We continue to assist job seekers and those customers looking to apply for unemployment insurance. Help has arrived in the form of another extension of benefits, and we have begun paying out those funds to eligible participants.”
Hyde County’s jobless rate increased from 6.1 percent in October to 8.8 percent in November, an increase of 2.7 percent.
Martin County’s unemployment rate of 10.5 percent remained unchanged from October to November.
Washington County’s jobless rate increased from 11.8 percent in October to 12.3 percent in November, a rise of 0.5 percent.
Orange County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in November at 6.3 percent. Meanwhile, Edgecombe County had the highest unemployment rate at 16.6 percent.
In November, no county had a jobless rate at or below 5 percent, 32 counties had employment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and 68 counties had jobless rates higher than 10 percent, according to ESC data.