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Jobless rate inches up

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The unemployment rate rose in all 100 counties in North Carolina in October, including the Twin Counties, according to the state Department of Commerce.

However, David Rhoades, communications director of the Commerce Department, said it’s important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns and it’s preferable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not-seasonally adjusted estimates instead of month-to-month changes.

According to the state, the number of workers employed statewide increased in October by 37,944 to 4,843,983, while those people unemployed increased by 18,694 to 170,887. Since October 2017, the number of workers employed statewide increased by 82,496, while those people unemployed decreased by 40,647.

“When compared to the same month last year, not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 99 counties and increased in one,” Rhoades said. “All 15 metropolitan areas experienced rate decreases over the year.”

Edgecombe County’s unemployment rate increased from 5.4 percent in September to 5.8 percent in October, which is lower than the 7.3 percent rate in October 2017. Edgecombe County continues to have the second-highest unemployment rate in the state.

Nash County’s jobless rate rose from 4.1 percent in September to 4.4 percent in October, which is lower than the 5.7 percent rate in October 2017. Nash County has the 19th highest unemployment rate in the state.

Among the state’s metropolitan statistical areas, Rocky Mount at 4.8 percent had the highest jobless rate in October — a slight increase from 4.6 percent in September but still down from 6.3 percent in October 2017.

Figures from the state show the Rocky Mount metro area and Wilmington experienced the greatest percentage increase at 2.6 percent in over-the-month net industry employment.  According to state figures, 900 jobs were added over the month in manufacturing, 200 jobs added in government and 100 jobs added in mining, logging and construction, trade, transportation and utilities and education and health services.

In addition, over-the-year net industry employment figures in the Rocky Mount metro area report 500 jobs were added in trade, transportation and utilities, 200 jobs added in professional and business services and mining, logging and construction and 100 jobs added in education and health services and leisure and hospitality. In manufacturing, there were 200 jobs lost over the year in that sector. 

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