Beaufort County jobless rate declines

Published 5:55 pm Monday, June 5, 2017

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.3 percent in March to 4.7 percent in April, according to information compiled by the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

In April 2016, the county’s unemployment rate was at 5.4 percent.

From March to April, 97 of the state’s 100 counties experienced declines in their unemployment rates, and three counties’ jobless rate increased, according to LEAD figures. The state’s unemployment rate fell from 4.7 percent in March to 4.3 percent in April.

“The estimated loss of 7,000 jobs in April may sound concerning to many. This surely isn’t good news, but a few items suggest this may be statistical noise and the state of North Carolina’s economy is still OK. 1. The number of people with jobs in North Carolina rose for the month. 2. Few recessionary signs exist at the national level. 3. Recent trends are still positive. 4. Most other economic statistics (e.g. unemployment-insurance claims, retail sales and job postings) are still positive. Follow the jobs numbers for May and June, with attention to April’s revisions, to get a better picture about North Carolina’s job growth,” according to a LEAD document.

Among the state’s 100 counties in April, 73 of them had unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower, 27 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and no county had a jobless rate of 10 percent or higher. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate in April at 8.8 percent, according to LEAD data. That figure is the first time the county’s jobless rate has been below 10 percent this year. Buncombe County had the lowest jobless rate in April at 3.2 percent.

Fourteen of the state’s 15 metropolitan areas experienced rate decreases from March to April, with one seeing a rate increase.

For April, Beaufort County’s workforce included 20,351 people, with 965 of them without work, according to LEAD figures. That meant 19,386 people were on the job and earning paychecks. For March, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 20,587 people, with 19,492 of them on the job, leaving 1,095 people without work.

Hyde County’s jobless rate decreased from 12.2 percent in March to 8.8 percent in April. In April 2016, its unemployment rate was at 8.7 percent.

From March to April, Martin County’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.9 percent to 5.6 percent. In April 2016, its jobless rate was at 6.1 percent.

Pitt County’s jobless rate was at 5 percent in March, falling to 4.6 percent in April. In April 2016, its unemployment rate was at 5.1 percent.

Washington County’s unemployment rate decreased from 7.1 percent in March to 6.6 percent in April. In April 2016, the county’s jobless rate was at 6.9 percent.

The Washington statistical area’s jobless rate in April was 4.7 percent, down from 5.3 percent from the previous month. The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s jobless rate for April was 4.6 percent, down from 5 percent in March.

Of the state’s 15 metropolitan statistical areas, four of the six MSAs east of Interstate 95 and the Fayetteville MSA had the highest unemployment rates in April, all above or at the state rate of 4.3 percent, according to LEAD figures. The New Bern MSA was at the state rate of 4.3 percent. The Wilmington MSA’s jobless rate for April was 3.9 percent. The Rocky Mount MSA was the highest in the state at 6.8 percent for April.

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.

email author More by Mike