Jobless rate continues decline

Published 9:32 am Friday, July 2, 2010

RALEIGH — Unemployment rates decreased in 86 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in May, according to statistics released by the state’s Employment Security Commission.

All four counties in the Roanoke-Chowan area saw a decline in the number of jobless residents.

“A majority of North Carolina’s counties experienced a decline in their unemployment rates,” said ESC Chairman

Lynn R. Holmes. “Some counties benefited from seasonal hiring, which is typical this time of the year. The ESC continues to respond to the needs of our customers at our 89 offices statewide.”

North Carolina had 47 counties that were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 9.9 percent. Two of those were in the local area – Gates and Hertford counties.

Gates noted the largest local decrease, falling from a 7.1 percent rate in April to 6.4 percent in May. Of the county’s workforce, one totaling 4,862 laborers, 313 were without employment in May.

Hertford County’s rate declined one-tenth of one percent from April to May (8.7 percent to 8.6 percent). The county boasts of the largest workforce (10,379) in the local area. Of that number, 897 were unemployed in May.

Even though the jobless rate remains at 10 percent or above in Bertie and Northampton counties, both saw slight decreases in the number of unemployed citizens during the month of May.

Northampton’s rate fell from 10.2 percent to 10.0 percent. The county has 872 residents out of work from a total labor force of 8,755.

The unemployment rate in Bertie County fell slightly from April (10.3 percent) to May (10.2 percent). From a labor force numbering 9,356 workers, 953 were without jobs in May.

Statewide, the number of people unemployed decreased by 9,079. The number of unemployed people in May was 450,647 workers, compared with 459,726 in April.

Currituck County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in May at 4.9 percent. Meanwhile, Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate, at 16 percent.

Other than Currituck, the unemployment rates of other northeastern North Carolina counties in May were: Camden (6.7%), Chowan (9.8%), Dare (8.0%), Edgecombe (14.8%), Halifax (12.1%), Martin (9.9%), Pasquotank (9.3%), Perquimans (8.4%), Tyrrell (9.8%), Warren (11.5%) and Washington (10.9%).