County's Jobless Rate Up
Moore County's unemployment rate rose significantly in November.
The rate increased by 0.8 percent to 7.2 percent, according to the latest data from the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina (ESC). That is up from 6.4 percent in October.
Slightly more than 2,500 residents were unemployed in Moore County, according to the ESC statistics.
"It's not good news," said Gene Norton, manager of the Aberdeen ESC office. "Unemployment rates are going up all over North Carolina. It's been a little late in hitting Moore County hard, but this past month it came on full force here."
Norton attributed that to the fact Moore County is driven by the service sector, which he said tends to be a little slower with layoffs, especially in retail. The counties with the highest unemployment rates tend to be manufacturing centers.
Norton attributed the increase to "little things," such as small businesses laying off one or two employees here and there. He added that retailers and other businesses did not hire as many seasonal workers as expected this year, a sign that many are feeling the effects of the recession now gripping the country.
"They are indicating that they are feeling it," Norton said.
All 100 counties in the state saw an increase in unemployment in November, according to the ESC. Overall, the unemployment rate in the state rose to 7.8 percent in November, the highest it has been since October 1983.
"Manufacturing, retail trade and services sectors have been hit hard during this national and worldwide economic slump," said ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. "Retail trade was down because many employers did not take on more workers during the holiday season as they have in the past. Also, textile and furniture manufacturing continue to struggle in the global economy."
Forty-two counties were at or below the state's unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. Rates increased in all 14 of the state's Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Total county employment (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in November by 80,559 workers, from 4,285,788 to 4,205,229. Not seasonally adjusted unemployment increased, by 43,601 workers. About 356,794 North Carolinians were out of work in November, compared with 313,193 the month before.
Orange County had the state's lowest unemployment rate, at 4.7 percent, in November. Meanwhile, Edgecombe County had the highest unemployment rate, at 13.3 percent.
Moore County has fared relatively well compared to many of its neighbors, with several seeing unemployment rates above 10 percent. Scotland County has one of the highest rates in the state at 13.1 percent.
Of Moore County's eight neighbors, Chatham County had the lowest rate at 6.5 percent, followed by Hoke County at 7.2 percent, Cumberland County at 7.6 percent, Harnett County at 8.2 percent, Randolph County at 8.3 percent, Lee County at 9.8 percent, Montgomery County at 10 percent and Richmond County at 11. 1 percent.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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