Jobless rate rises

Published 6:50 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate increased from 6 percent in April to 6.8 percent in May, according to data released by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

Of the state’s 100 counties, 97 saw their unemployment rates increase from April to May, two experienced declines in their jobless rates and one county’s unemployment rate remained the same.

Beaufort County’s jobless rate had declined in each of the first four months of this year. The jobless rate was at 6.8 percent in January. Since June 2013, the county’s unemployment rate has been below 10 percent.

Some sources attribute the increase, in part, to the addition of unemployed college graduates to the work force. Most college students who graduate do so in May.

In May, Beaufort County’s workforce was at 19,877 people. Out of that number, 1,356 people were unemployed and 18,521 were on the job, according to LEAD figures. In April, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 19,776 people. Of that number, 1,199 were unable to secure employment, according to LEAD figures, with 18,577 members of the workforce on the job and earning paychecks.

Six counties had unemployment rates at 5 percent or less in May, with 91 counties having jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent, according to LEAD figures. Three counties had unemployment rates at or above 10 percent. In May, Graham County has the highest jobless rate at 12 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest jobless rate at 4.5 percent.

Hyde County’s unemployment rate for May was 8.2 percent, the same rate reported for April.

Martin County’s jobless rate for May was 7.7 percent, up from 7.1 percent in April.

Washington County’s unemployment rate for May was 8.7 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April.

Pitt County’s jobless rate for May was 6.5 percent, up from 5.4 percent in April.

The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s unemployment rate was at 6.6 percent in April, up from 5.5 percent in April.

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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