Jobless rates fall slightly

Published 9:19 pm Monday, October 1, 2012

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent from July to August, declining from 11.2 percent in July to 11.1 percent in August, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division.
The state’s unemployment rate fell from 9.9 percent in July to 9.7 percent in August, a drop of 0.2 percent, according to LEAD figures. From July to August, unemployment rates fell in 72 of the state’s 100 counties, while jobless rates increased in 18 counties and remained unchanged in 10 counties, according to LEAD data.
Neal Anderson, the new manager of the Division of Employment Security’s office in Washington, expects the trend of Beaufort County’s unemployment rate fluctuating by one- or two-tenths of a percentage point to continue for the next several months.
“Our workforce numbers are down just a little bit. Our number of employed is up a little bit. It’s one-tenth. Even though it’s better, and we like to see better, I don’t think it’s what I’d call significant at this point,” Anderson said Monday. “It’s that fluctuation — when I was looking back at the numbers — that seemed to be happening over the past little while.”
Anderson addressed the local jobs market.
“I haven’t heard of anybody looking at downsizing. I’ve been trying to get out and meet some of our employers. Some have said they’re looking forward to good things coming up in the first quarter (of 2013). Some have just said that right now business is slow,” Anderson said. “They really didn’t make a forecast on what’s going to happen. The ones I’ve talked to seem positive at this point.”
Beaufort County’s work force totaled 21,087 people in August, with 2,337 of those people unable to secure employment, according to LEAD data. In July, Beaufort County’s work force totaled 21,447 people, with 2,399 of that number unable to secure employment, according to LEAD figures.
Hyde County’s jobless rate increased from 8.1 percent in July to 8.6 percent in August, an increase of 0.5 percent,
Hyde County’s work force reached 2,977 people in August, with 255 of those people unable to find jobs, according to LEAD data. Hyde County’s work force had 3,159 people in July, with 255 of those people without jobs.
Martin County’s unemployment rate fell from 12 percent in July to 11.9 percent in August, a decline of 0.1 percent.
In Martin County for August, the work force totaled 11,169 people, with 1,331 of them without jobs, according to LEAD figures. In July, Martin County had a work force of 11,318 people, but 1,355 of them were unable to find jobs.
In Washington County, the jobless rate fell from 11.9 percent in July to 11.8 percent in August, a drop of 0.1 percent.
Washington County’s work force in August came to 6,423 people, with 759 of them unable to secure employment, according to LEAD figures. In July, the work force in Washington County totaled 6,565 people, with 783 of them without employment.
For August, one county had a jobless rate at 5 percent or below. There were 42 counties with unemployment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent. Fifty-seven counties had unemployment rates at 10 percent or higher, according to LEAD figures.
Of the state’s 100 counties, Currituck County had the lowest jobless rate in August at 4.7 percent. Scotland County had the highest jobless rate in August at 17.2 percent.
The jobless figures released by LEAD do not include unemployed people whose unemployment insurance benefits expired and who are not listed as unemployed. Factor in those people and a county’s true jobless rate is higher.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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