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Beaufort County sees fall, but Hyde County posts highest jobless rate in NC

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent in January to 5.3 percent in February, according to information compiled by the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

Unemployment rates declined from January through February in 74 of the state’s 100 counties, increased in 10 counties and remained the same in 16 counties, according to LEAD data. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate in February at 14.9 percent, with Buncombe County posting the lowest jobless rate in February at 3.5 percent.

“North Carolina’s economy continues to maintain a holding pattern. The unemployment rate has settled at 4.5 percent for the past five months and job gains maintain a steady pace. With unemployment insurance claims on the decline and promising signs from the construction sector, we have no reason to suspect a downturn any tine soon. However, a tight labor market will present a challenge for employers in the meantime,” reads a statement from the N.C. Commerce Department.

Among the state’s 100 counties in February, 58 of them had unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower, 40 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and two counties had a jobless rate of 10 percent or higher.

Eleven of the state’s 15 metropolitan areas experienced rate decreases from January to February, while four were unchanged.

For February, Beaufort County’s jobless rated was ranked 67th in the state.

In February, Beaufort County’s workforce was at 20,201 people. Of that number, 1,066 people were unemployed and 19,135 members of the workforce were on the job and receiving paychecks, according to LEAD information. In January, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 20,269 people, with 1,279 of them unable to secure employment and 18,990 members of the workforce on the job, according to LEAD data.

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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