Unemployment rate unchanged

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Contributing Editor

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate for June was at 10.7 percent, unchanged from May’s jobless rate, according to data released by the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
Unemployment rates decreased in 35 of the state’s 100 counties from May to June, according to ESC data. For June, the state’s jobless rate was 10.1 percent, up from 10 percent in May.
Beaufort County’s unemployment rate has been at least 10 percent each month since January 2009. From February to May, Beaufort County’s unemployment rate declined each month from a high of 12.3 percent in January.
Patrick Oswalt, manager of the ESC office in Washington, doesn’t see Beaufort County’s jobless rate shifting much up or down in the coming weeks. He expects the unemployment rate to remain fairly stagnant in the near future.
“The claimants just don’t seem to be getting jobs,” he said in a brief interview.
“We’re starting to see a slight uptick in job orders, but nothing of any magnitude,” he said.
Oswalt said he expects Beaufort County’s jobless rate to range from “10.1 percent to 10.7 percent for a little while.”
In June, Beaufort County’s work force totaled 21,094 people, with 18,838 of those people on the job. That left 2,256 people unable to find employment, according to ESC figures. Statewide, 457,341 people in the 4,545,448-member work force for May were unemployed.
In May, Beaufort County’s work force was at 21,133 people. Of that number, 18,893 people were working, with 2,240 people unable to find jobs, according to ESC figures.
As of Tuesday, unemployed Beaufort County residents had received $1,186,379 in unemployment-insurance benefits during the past 30 days, according to ESC data. Since Jan. 1, Beaufort County residents have received $9,363,865 in unemployment-insurance benefits.
“The June county data show that for many of the counties in the state, the unemployment rate as showed some level of improvement,” said state ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes in a news release. “Unfortunately, there are still many counties where the rate of unemployment remains high. As always, our agency will respond to our customers who seek assistance in employment services and unemployment benefits. We also continue to serve North Carolina businesses that use our resources to recruit workers.”
Hyde County’s jobless rate was at 6.3 percent in June, down from 6.9 percent in May.
Martin County’s jobless rate was at 10.3 percent in June, up from 10 percent in May.
Washington County’s jobless rate was at 11.2 percent in June, up from 11.1 percent in May.
In June, one county had a jobless rate at or below 5 percent, 44 counties had employment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and June at 4.9 percent. Scotland County had the highest jobless rate in June at 16.3 percent. Currituck County had the lowest jobless rate in June at 4.8 percent.