Jobless rates fall

Published 5:34 pm Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate continues to be above double digits, with the rate dropping from 10.5 percent in March to 10.3 percent in April, a drop of 0.2 percent, according to the N.C. Division of Employment Security

The county was among 97 of the state’s 100 counties that saw their unemployment rates fall from March to April, according to DES figures. Jobless rates increased in two counties and remained the same in one county.

The state’s unemployment rate fell from 8.9 percent in March to 8.5 percent in April, a decline of 0.4 percent.

“Really, nothing significant has changed. We’ve seen a few more people drop out of the work force, which is causing the two-tenths (of a percent) decline. We lost 86 out of the work force. Really, that’s what brought the unemployment rate down — just less people in the work force,” said Neal Anderson, supervisor of the DES office in Washington.

Anderson said there have been no significant hirings in Beaufort County in recent weeks and no major layoffs, but there’s “still a few spotty ones here and there.”

Beaufort County’s work force for April was at 20,510 people, according to DES data. Of that number, 2,107 people were unable to find employment. Beaufort County’s work force for March totaled 20,610 people, according to DES information. That meant 18,447 members of that work force were working, with 2,163 people in the work force unable to secure employment, according to DES figures.

For April, no county had a jobless rate at 5 percent or below. There were 68 counties with unemployment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent. Thirty-two counties had unemployment rates at 10 percent or higher, according to DES.
Of the state’s 100 counties, Orange County had the lowest jobless rate in April at 5.3 percent. Graham County had the highest jobless rate in April at 15.9 percent.
The jobless figures released by DES 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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