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Hyde County reports highest jobless rate in state

Beaufort County’s unemployment rate increased in December 2018 to 4.7 percent, up from 4.4 percent in November 2018, according to information compiled by the Labor & Economics Analysis Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

From November through December, unemployment rates increased in 99 counties and remained unchanged in one county, according to LEAD data. Hyde County had the highest jobless rate in December at 8.6 percent. Buncombe County posted the lowest jobless rate in December at 3 percent. The state’s unemployment rate for December was at 3.8 percent, up from 3.5 percent in November.

All 15 of the state’s metropolitan areas reported increases from November through December.

For December, Beaufort County’s jobless rate was ranked 75th in the state. The month before it was ranked 68th.

“I know there has been some talk about jobs in Beaufort County. Of course, we had Parker Hannifan that closed down at the end of the year. … That affected quite a few people. We’re seeing a lot of those people come through our center right now,” said Wesley Watson, director of the NC Works office in Washington. “We’re doing a good job at, I guess you can say, transitioning that workforce to other employers. IDX has done some hiring, brought on quite a few people. The new business in Beaufort County, IMT, has done quite a bit of hiring. … That’s been the big one in our county.”

InterMarket Technology moved to the county last year.

Beaufort County’s workforce was at 19,654 people in December, with 18,734 people on the job. That left 920 people unemployed.

For November, Beaufort County’s workforce totaled 19,933 people. Of that number, 850 were unable to find work, and 19,089 were on the job. Beaufort County’s

Hyde County’s jobless rate increased by 3 percent, from 5.6 percent in November to 8.6 percent in December. In December 2017, its unemployment rate was at 10.3 percent.

From November through December, Martin County’s unemployment rate increased from 4.4 percent to 4.9 percent. In December 2017, its jobless rate was at 5.6 percent.

Pitt County’s jobless rate was at 3.7 percent in November, increasing to 4 percent in December. In December 2017, its unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent.

Washington County’s unemployment rate increased from 5.5 percent in November to 6 percent in December. In December 2017, the county’s jobless rate was at 7.1 percent.

The Washington statistical area’s jobless rate in December was 4.7 percent, up from 4.4 percent in the previous month. The Greenville-Washington combined statistical area’s jobless rate for December was 4.1 percent, up from 3.8 percent on November.

Of the state’s 15 metropolitan statistical areas, six of the MSAs east of Interstate 95 and the Fayetteville MSA had the highest unemployment rates in December, all above or at the state rate of 3.8 percent, according to LEAD. East of I-95, The Rocky Mount MSA was the highest at 4.8 percent for December.

The unemployment figures released by the state’s 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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