Jobless rate dips

Published 8:27 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate decreased slightly from January to February, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

The county’s January rate was 6.8 percent, moving to 6.7 percent in February, according to preliminary LEAD information.

“I feel like we are seeing more job openings coming in and more individuals coming in looking for referrals,” said Jennie Bowen, NC Works/Beaufort County direct services director. “So it seems things are picking up on the job front. We are seeing more employers who are doing more recruiting.”

The latest jobless rates by county were released Wednesday. In 89 of the state’s 100 counties, the unemployment rate decreased. The unemployment rates in five counties increased from January to February, with six counties seeing no change in their jobless rates from January to February, according to LEAD data.

The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s unemployment rate decreased from 6 percent in January to 5.8 percent in February, according to preliminary LEAD figures. In February 2014, that rate was at 6.8 percent.

The state’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.9 percent in January to 5.7 percent in February, a drop of 0.2 percent.

Beaufort County’s workforce in February totaled 19,888 people, with 1,314 of them unable to find employment, according to LEAD figures. That meant 18,574 members of the workforce were on the job. Beaufort County’s workforce for January totaled 19,631 people, according to LEAD figures. Of that number, 1,341 people were without jobs, with 18,290 members of the workforce going to jobs, according to LEAD data.

Fourteen counties had unemployment rates at 5 percent or less in February, with 80 counties having jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent, according to LEAD figures. Six counties had unemployment rates at or above 10 percent.

Graham and Hyde counties had the highest February unemployment rate of 14.2 percent. Orange County had the lowest February unemployment rate of 4.2 percent.

Hyde County’s jobless rate increased from 13.3 percent in January to 14.2 percent in February, an increase of 0.9 percent.

Martin County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent in January to 7.1 percent in February, a drop of 0.3 percent.

Washington County’s unemployment rate rose from 9.3 percent in January to 9.5 percent in February, a rise of 0.2 percent.

Pitt County’s jobless rate fell from 5.9 percent in January to 5.6 percent in February, a decline of 0.3 percent.

The jobless figures released by the state 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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