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Jobless rates decline

RALEIGH – The latest numbers are, for a change, encouraging.

The Employment Security Commission of North Carolina has released its unemployment rates for the month of April where the numbers declined in all but one of the state’s 100 counties.

“The positive news in the April county data is that there has been an increase in the number of workers employed throughout the state,” ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes said. “At the same time, the news is tempered by the fact that more than half of the counties still have unemployment rates over the unadjusted rate of 10 percent. We continue to provide a variety of services in our 89 offices statewide to assist those seeking work.”

Statewide, the numbers show 455,013 citizens without jobs during the month of April. That reflects a 10 percent unemployment rate based on a labor force of 4.54 million.

All counties in the Roanoke-Chowan area saw the number of unemployed citizens decline in April. The largest decrease came in Northampton County where the rate fell to 10.1 percent (down from 11.4% in March). That April number reflects 889 Northampton citizens without a job in a county with a workforce totaling 8,786.

In Hertford County, the home of a labor force numbering 10,385 workers, the April numbers fell to 8.6 percent (898 jobless). The county had a March rate of 9.3 percent.

Bertie County, with 955 workers seeking jobs of a labor force totaling 9,353, saw its April numbers decline to 10.2 percent (down from 10.8 percent in March).

Gates County also saw a decline in those seeking jobs. Of the county’s 4,899 workers, 350 were without jobs in April – a 7.1 percent unemployment rate. That number is down from 7.5 percent in March.

On the low-high end of the statewide scale, Currituck County had North Carolina’s lowest jobless rate (5.8%) in April while Scotland County experienced the highest at 15.8 percent.

Unemployment rates from April in other local counties were Camden (7.3%), Chowan (10%), Dare (9.4%), Edgecombe (14.8%), Halifax (12.5%), Martin (10%), Pasquotank (9.2%), Perquimans (9.3%) and Washington (11.2%).