NC jobless rate lowest since November 2000

Published 1:48 pm Monday, August 21, 2017

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate fell slightly from May to June, falling from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent, according to the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

In June, 69 of the state’s 100 counties experienced decreases in their unemployment rates, and four counties’ jobless rate increased, according to LEAD figures. Twenty-seven counties had jobless rates at the same level in May and June. The state’s unemployment rate decreased from 4.3 percent in May to 4.2 percent in May.

Among the state’s 100 counties in June, 74 of them had unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower, 26 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and no county had a jobless rate of 10 percent or higher. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rates in June at 7.6 percent, according to LEAD data. Buncombe County had the lowest jobless rate in June at 3.2 percent.

The Commerce Department issued this written statement about the latest unemployment rates in the state and counties: “About NC’s preliminary unemployment rate (UR) and jobs numbers for June: 4.2% is the lowest level for NC since November 2000 – two recessions ago; it’s the first time the UR has dipped below the U.S. rate in nearly three years; the UR has dropped 1.0 percentage points since December – the fastest six-month decline since August ‘13-February ’14; the estimated 27,800 new jobs added in the past two months are more than any two-month period since spring 2014. Some adjustment of these numbers is to be expected; but combined with other economic data, NC appears to be in good shape heading into the second half of the year.”

Nine of the state’s 15 metropolitan areas experienced rate decreases from May to June, with six unchanged.

For June, Beaufort County’s workforce was at 20,2196 people. Of that number, 19,246 people were on the job, leaving 950 without employment. In May, 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. In May, Beaufort County’s workforce numbered 20,231 people. Of that number, 19,243 people were on the job, leaving 988 without employment.

Hyde County’s jobless rate decreased from 7.5 percent in May to 6.2 percent in June. In June 2016, its unemployment rate was at 7 percent.

From May to June, Martin County’s unemployment rate remained at 5.5 percent. In June 2016, its jobless rate was at 6.9 percent.

Pitt County’s jobless rate was at 4.9 percent In June, the same as in May. In June 2016, its unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent.

Washington County’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.4 percent in May to 6 percent in June. In June 2016, the county’s jobless rate was at 7 percent.

The Washington statistical area’s jobless rate in June was 4.7 percent, up from 4.8 percent from the previous month. The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s jobless rate for June was 4.9 percent, the same as in May.

Of the state’s 15 metropolitan statistical areas, five of the five MSAs east of Interstate 95 and the Fayetteville MSA had the highest unemployment rates in June, all above or at the state rate of 4.2 percent, according to LEAD figures. The Wilmington MSA’s jobless rate for June was 4 percent. The Rocky Mount MSA was the highest in the state at 6.4 percent for June.

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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