Jobless rate increases

Published 8:35 pm Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate for January was 8.4 percent, up .4 percent from December 2013, according to information released Friday by the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis branch of the N.C. Labor Department.

Although the county’s unemployment rate increased from the last month of 2013 to the first month of 2014, it was below 10 percent for the sixth consecutive month.

Across the state from December 2013 to January of this year, jobless rates increased in 96 counties, decreased in two counties and were unchanged in two counties.

The state’s unemployment rate for January was 7 percent, up from 6.6 percent the previous month.

Neal Anderson, manager of the NCWorks office that serves Beaufort County, expects Beaufort County’s unemployment rate to continue to remain relatively unchanged in the coming months, with one factor possibly affecting it in the coming months.

“The only thing I’ve dealt with recently, and I’m sure everybody in Beaufort County is aware that Pungo Hospital will be finally phased out. That’s it; I haven’t heard of anything major — either hiring or the other way,” Anderson said.

In January, Beaufort County’s work force totaled 19,831 people. Of that number, 1,673 people were unable to secure employment. That meant 18,158 people in the work force were on the job.

Beaufort County’s work force was at 19,958 people in December 2013, with 1,600 people unable to secure employment, according to LEAD figures. That meant 18,358 people from the work force were working and earning paychecks.

In January, three counties had jobless rates at or below 5 percent, 87 counties had unemployment rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and 10 counties had unemployment rates at or above 10 percent, according to LEAD data.

Dare County had the highest jobless rate in January at 14.5 percent. Orange County had the lowest unemployment rate in January at 4.6 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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