Seven of 100 counties see their rates decrease

Published 10:48 pm Monday, December 4, 2017


Beaufort County’s unemployment rate increased from 4.4 percent in September to 4.7 percent in October, according to the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

From September through October, unemployment rates increased in 93 of the state’s 100 counties and were unchanged in seven counties, according to LEAD data.

Among the state’s 100 counties in October, 78 of them had unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower, 22 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 rate in October at 7.2 percent, according to LEAD data. Buncombe County had the lowest jobless rate in October at 3.3 percent.

North Carolina’s unemployment rate increased from 3.9 percent in September of 4.1 percent in October, according to LEAD figures.

“North Carolina’s economic expansion continued in October with a low unemployment rate and positive job growth. The rate of job growth has slowed in 2017, driven in part by a slowdown in the Construction sector. However, most other economic indicators suggest ongoing improvement, with no clear signs of recession on the horizon,” according to a Commerce Department document.

All 15 of the state’s metropolitan areas experienced a jobless-rate increase from September through October, according to LEAD data.

For October, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 20,044 people. Of that number, 938 people were unable to find employment and 19,106 workforce members were on the job, according to LEAD data. In September, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 20,134 people, with 890 of them unemployed, according to LEAD figures. That meant 19,244 members of the workforce were on the job and getting paid.

Hyde County’s jobless rate increased from 5.2 percent in September to 5.4 percent in October. In October 2016, its unemployment rate was at 8.1 percent.

From September to October, Martin County’s unemployment rate rose from at 4.8 percent to 4.9 percent. In October 2016, its jobless rate was at 7.2 percent.

Pitt County’s jobless rate was at 4.5 percent in October, rising from 4.3 percent in September. In October 2016, its unemployment rate was at 6.1 percent.

Washington County’s unemployment rate increased from 5.7 percent in September to 6.6 percent in October. In October 2016, the county’s jobless rate was at 7.4 percent.

The Washington statistical area’s jobless rate in October was 4.7 percent, up from 4.4 percent for the previous month. The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s jobless rate for October was 4.5 percent, up from 4.3 percent in September, according to LEAD figures.

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 October, all above or at the state rate of 4.1 percent, according to LEAD figures. The Wilmington MSA’s jobless rate for October was 3.9 percent. The Rocky Mount MSA had the highest jobless rate in the state at 6 percent for October.

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