Beaufort County down, Hyde County up from November to December

Published 10:16 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018



Beaufort County’s unemployment rate for December 2017 was 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in November 2017, according to the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

From November through December, unemployment rates decreased in 56 of the state’s 100 counties, increased in 20 counties and were unchanged in 24 counties, according to LEAD data. In that same period, the state’s jobless rate fell from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent.

Among the state’s 100 counties in December, 67 of them had unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower, 32 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and one county had a jobless rate of 10 percent or higher. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate in December at 10.6 percent, according to LEAD data. Buncombe County had the lowest jobless rate in December at 3.4 percent.

“By all indications, 2017 was a good year for North Carolina’s economy. However, job growth and unemployment estimates in December paint a conflicting picture of current conditions. We should have some clarity, following LEAD’s Annual Data

Revision process. At the beginning of each year, all monthly jobs and labor force estimates from our CES and LAUS programs are reevaluated using standard BLS methodologies. The general narrative about NC’s economy won’t be impacted — our economy grew in 2017 — but specific monthly numbers will almost certainly change. Our next data release won’t be until March – at which time, expect to see changes to last years’ numbers as well,” reads a statement issued by the department.

Beaufort County’s workforce for December was at 19,790 people. Of that number, 1,013 people were unable to find work; meaning 18,777 people were on the job and earning paychecks. In November, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 19,923 people. Of that number, 1,036 people were unable to find employment and 18,887 workforce members were on the job, according to LEAD data.

Eleven of the state’s 15 metropolitan areas experienced jobless-rate decreases from November through December, according to LEAD data. The other four saw no change in their jobless rates during the same period.

Hyde County’s jobless rate increased from 7.3 percent in November to 10.6 percent in December. In December 2016, its unemployment rate was at 11.7 percent.

From to November through December, Martin County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged 5.7 percent. In December 2016, its jobless rate was at 6.8 percent.

Pitt County’s jobless rate was at 4.7 percent in December, decreasing from 4.9 percent in November. In December 2016, its unemployment rate was at 5.2 percent.

Washington County’s unemployment rate increased from 7 percent in November to 7.3 percent in December. In December 2016, the county’s jobless rate was at 7.8 percent.

The Washington statistical area’s jobless rate in December was 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent for the previous month. The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s jobless rate for December was 4.8 percent, down from 4.9 percent in November, according to LEAD figures.

Of the state’s 15 metropolitan statistical areas, five of the six MSAs east of Interstate 95 — Greenville, New Bern, Goldsboro, Jacksonville and Rocky Mount — and the Fayetteville MSA had the highest unemployment rates in December, all above or at the state rate of 4.4 percent, according to LEAD figures. The Wilmington MSA’s jobless rate for December was 4.3 percent. The Rocky Mount MSA had the highest jobless rate in the state at 6.3 percent for December.

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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