Area jobless rates down

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Beaufort County’s unemployment rated dropped slightly from July through August, falling rom 4.7 percent in July to 4.6 percent the next month, according to information compiled by the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

From July through August, unemployment rates decreased in 88 of North Carolina’s counties, increased in four counties and did not change in eight counties. The state’s unemployment rate was at 3.9percent in July, down from 4.1 percent in July according to LEAD data.

Scotland County had the highest jobless rate in August at 7.6 percent. Buncombe County posting the lowest jobless rate in August at 3.1 percent.

“One running theme in our NC Today summary has been ‘don’t pay too much attention to monthly numbers.’ Many of these figures are estimates, subject to change, and can swing from North Carolina’s August unemployment rate is somewhat noteworthy. First, at 3.9 percent NC’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is below 4 percent for the first time since September 2000. It also matches the national rate for the first time in a year, and only the third time since August 2014. Most importantly, the decline is part of a five-month trend — signaling a continuing tightness in the labor market,” according to a statement included in the June employment-rate report issued by the department.

Among the state’s 100 counties in August, 81 of them had unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower, 19 counties had jobless rates between 5 percent and 10 percent and no county had a jobless rate of 10 percent or higher.

Fourteen of the state’s 15 metropolitan areas experienced rate decreased and one did not change from July to August. Among those areas, Rocky Mount at 5.8 percent had the highest rate in July, with Asheville having the lowest rate at 3.2 percent.

For August, Beaufort County’s jobless rate was ranked 72ndin the state.

For July, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 19,626 people, with 18,730 of the on the job. That left 896 members of that workforce unable to secure employment, according to LEAD data. Beaufort County’s workforce in July totaled 20,263 people, with 19,318 of them on the job, leaving 945 people unable to secure employment.

Hyde County’s jobless rate decreased from 5.8 percent in July to 5.4 percent in August. In August 2017, its unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent.

From July through August, Martin County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent to 4.9 percent. In August 2017, its jobless rate was at 5.9 percent.

Pitt County’s jobless rate was at 4.7 percent in July, falling to 4.4 percent in August. In August 2017, its unemployment rate was at 5.4 percent.

Washington County’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.8 percent in July to 5.7percent in August. In August 2017, the county’s jobless rate was at 6.3 percent.

The Washington statistical area’s jobless rate in August was 4.6 percent, down from 4.7 percent in the previous month. The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s jobless rate for August was 4.4 percent, down from 4.7 percent in July.

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 July, all above or at the state rate of 3.9 percent, according to LEAD figures. The Wilmington MSA’s jobless rate for August was 37 percent. The Rocky Mount MSA was the highest at 5.8 percent for August.

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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