Jobless Rate Takes a Dip For August
Moore County's unemployment rate dropped in August, as it did in most of the counties in the state.
The rate dropped from 4.7 to 4.4 percent. Moore has one of the lowest rates of any of the surrounding counties.
"Things are going pretty dang well," said John Wittenstrom, manager of the Aberdeen office of the Employment Security Commission.
A drop of 0.3 percent is significant, Wittenstrom said. But he couldn't point to the exact reason for it. He said he may have expected a drop of one-tenth or two-tenths of a percent, but he was a little surprised that it was larger.
Several new businesses are in the process of relocating to Moore County, such as American Growler in Robbins, but few of them have begun the hiring process.
Even a store like Stein Mart could make a dent in the unemployment rate, Wittenstrom said. But it, too, has yet to make hires.
What's going on in Moore County may be part of a larger trend at the state level. Unemployment went down in 95 of North Carolina's 100 counties in August. Rates went up in only two counties.
"Employment numbers continue to be strong throughout the state, and 88 counties have lower unemployment rates in August compared with this time last year," ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. said.
Dare County had the state's lowest unemployment rate, at a minuscule 2.3 percent. Nearby Scotland County had the highest, at 9.2 percent.
Moore County's total employment in August was 35,135, and its unemployment was 1,623. Among Moore's neighbors, only Chatham County had a lower rate, at 3.6 percent.
Cumberland (5.8 percent), Harnett (5 percent), Hoke (5.3 percent), Lee (5.4 percent), Montgomery (6.7 percent), Randolph (4.7 percent) and Richmond (8.3 percent) all share a border with Moore.
The county might see a small drop again next month, Wittenstrom said. Moore County's rate is impressive considering there is no manufacturing base.
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