County part of statewide unemployment trend

Published 5:02 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016

Beaufort County, as did 67 other counties in North Carolina, saw its unemployment rate increase from July to August, according to information compiled by the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

In July, the county’s unemployment rate was 5.6 percent, increasing to 5.7 percent for August, according to LEAD data. Fourteen of the state’s 100k counties saw their jobless rates decrease from July to August, with 18 counties experiencing no change in their unemployment rates from July to August, according to LEAD figures. For August, the state’s unemployment rate was 5 percent,

“Data from August provides little help in understanding North Carolina’s economic outlook. Positive signs in the unemployment rate and housing permits were countered by negative signals in job postings and the employed. While some data may raise an eyebrow (a dip in jobs), revisions may prove this to be just noise,” according to the department. “Look to see if these numbers hold next month and a trend begins to form. Long-term trends are still positive; and there is no reason yet to believe that North Carolina’s economic expansion is about to change course.”

Among the state’s 100 counties in August, 38 of them had unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower, 62 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and no counties had jobless rates of 10 percent or higher. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate in August at 8.8 percent, according to LEAD data. Buncombe County had the lowest jobless rate in August at 3.9 percent.

Beaufort County’s workforce for August totaled 19,860 people, with 18,728 of them on the job, leaving 1,132 people in that workforce without employment, according to LEAD data. Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 20,286 people in July, with 19,152 with jobs drawing paychecks, leaving 1,134 without employment.

Hyde County’s jobless rate increased from 6.2 percent in July to 6.4 percent in August. In August 2015, its unemployment rate was at 6.6 percent.

From July to August, Martin County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7 percent. In August 2015, its jobless rate was at 8.4 percent.

Pitt County’s jobless rate was at 5.8 percent in August, up from 5.7 percent in the previous month. In August 2015, its unemployment rate was at 6.6 percent.

Washington County’s unemployment rate increased from 6.8 percent in July to 7 percent in August. In August 2015, the county’s jobless rate was at 8.4 percent.

The Washington statistical area’s jobless rate in August was 5.7 percent, up from 5.6 percent in the previous month. The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s jobless rate for August was 5.7 percent, unchanged from July.

Of the state’s 15 metropolitan statistical areas, five of the six MSAs east of Interstate 95 and the Fayetteville MSA had the highest unemployment rates in August, all above or at the state rate of 5 percent, according to LEAD figures. The Wilmington MSA’s jobless rate for August was 4.8 percent.

The jobless figures released by the Commerce Department 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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