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Jobless rate drops in area

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Twin Counties joined 84 of 100 counties in North Carolina where the unemployment rate decreased in July, according to figures from the state Department of Commerce.

The Commerce Department reported that Edgecombe County’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.4 percent in June to 7.2 percent in July, while Nash County’s jobless rate declined from 5.9 percent in June to 5.6 percent in July. The Rocky Mount Metropolitan Statistical Area’s unemployment, which is a combination of Nash and Edgecombe counties, fell from 6.4 percent in June to 6.1 percent in July.

David Rhoades, communications director for the Commerce Department, said it’s important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns and to get a better understanding of the unemployment rate, it’s better to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates.

In Edgecombe County, the unemployment rate went declined from 7.8 percent in July 2017 to 7.2 percent in July of this year. In Nash County, the jobless rate went down from 6.6 percent in July 2017 to 5.6 percent in July. For the Rocky Mount metro, the unemployment rate dropped from 7.0 percent in July 2017 to 6.1 percent in July.

The state’s figures revealed the Twin Counties continues to rank high in unemployment among North Carolina’s 100 counties. Edgecombe County has the second-highest jobless rate, while Nash County has the 11th highest and Rocky Mount continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the state’s 15 metro areas.

According to the state, 14 out of the 15 metro areas suffered a net industry employment decrease over the month. Rocky Mount had a net employment decrease of 700 job losses over the month.

In July, Rocky Mount had a net employment increase of 100 jobs gained in mining, logging and construction and 100 gains in manufacturing, but a net employment decrease of 1,000 job losses in government.

Like the unemployment rate, Rhoades said net industry employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns so it is better to measure over-the-year changes.

Rocky Mount had a net employment decrease over the year of 500 job losses. Rocky Mount had a net employment increase of 400 jobs gained in trade, transportation and utilities, a net employment increase of 200 jobs gained in leisure and hospitality and a net employment increase of 100 jobs gained in mining, logging and construction. But losses in other sectors offset those gains.

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