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Jobless rates decline: Hyde County drops below 10 percent

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.1 percent in March to 4.3 percent in April, according to information compiled by the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Unemployment rates in each of the state’s 100 counties declined from March to April. The state’s unemployment rate declined from 4.3 percent in March to 3.7 percent in April, according to LEAD data.
Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate in April at 7.9 percent, with Buncombe County posting the lowest jobless rate in April at 2.8 percent.
“Preliminary estimates show that NC broke its six-month streak of 4.5 percent unemployment in April, dropping back to 4.4 percent. This helps to illustrate the tightening labor market across all North Carolina, not just the state’s urban areas. Not since 2000 has North Carolina’s April unemployment rate been below 8 percent in all 100 counties. In fact, 86 counties had a monthly rate of 5.0 percent or lower. This is great news for job seekers, who have less competition for open positions. However, the opposite is true for employers, who are finding it more difficult to attract talent,” reads a statement in a news release from the N.C. Commerce Department.
Among the state’s 100 counties in April, 86 of them had unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower, 14 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and not county had a jobless rate of 10 percent or higher.
Each of the state’s 15 metropolitan areas experienced rate decreases from March to April. For April, Beaufort County’s jobless rate was ranked 69th in the state.
In April, the Beaufort County workforce totaled 19,962 people, with 856 of them unable to find employment, according to LEAD data. Of that workforce, 19,106 people were on the job and receiving paychecks. In March, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 20,034 people, with 1,020 of them unable to find work, according to LEAD data. Of that workforce, 19,014 people were on the job and earning wages.
Hyde County’s jobless rate decreased from 12.7 percent in March to 7.9 percent in April. In April 2017, its unemployment rate was at 8.3 percent.
From March to April, Martin County’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.5 percent to 4.8 percent. In April 2017, its jobless rate was at 5.5 percent.
Pitt County’s jobless rate was at 4.6 percent in March, falling 4.1 percent in April. In April 2017, its unemployment rate was at 4.4percent.
Washington County’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.9 percent in March to 5.7 percent in April. In April 2017, the county’s jobless rate was at 6.2 percent.
The Washington statistical area’s jobless rate in April was 4.3 percent, down from 5.1 percent from the previous month. The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s jobless rate for April was 4.1 percent, down from 4.7 percent in March.
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 April, all above or at the state rate of 3.7 percent, according to LEAD figures. The Wilmington MSA’s jobless rate for April was 3.5 percent. The Rocky Mount MSA was the highest at 5.8 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.

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