Unemployment Rate Hits 11 Percent
Moore County's unemployment rate has hit 11 percent - the highest in about a year.
New data released by the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina (ESC) showed that the county's unemployment rate rose one percentage point from December to January. It was a tough month for the entire state, with jobless rates increasing in 99 of the 100 counties. Neighboring Lee County held steady at 14.6 percent. Click here for the latest statistics.
Moore County's unemployment rate last reached 11 percent in February 2009. Despite the jump, the county is still below the state's unadjusted rate of 11.8 percent.
Gene Norton, manager of the ESC office in Aberdeen, said Thursday that while some seasonal jobs are opening up, it's not enough to put a significant number of people back to work. He said he didn't see any signs to expect a turnaround anytime soon.
"When it comes to actual expansion of business and more jobs being created, we're just not seeing a lot of that locally," he said. "Hopefully, in a couple of months when the March rates come out, you'll be able to see some improvement."
Moore County's labor force is 36,891, with 32,830 employed and 4,061 out of work, according to the ESC's data.
Along with Moore County, 40 other counties were at or below the state's unemployment rate. Rates increased in all 14 of the state's metropolitan statistical areas.
No counties had jobless rates at or below 5 percent. Fourteen had rates between 5 and 10 percent, while 86 had rates at 10 percent or above.
Orange County had the state's lowest unemployment rate in January at 6.9 percent. Graham County, in western North Carolina, had the state's highest rate at 19.3 percent.
Among its neighbors, Moore County is in the middle of the pack. Chatham County (8.5 percent), Hoke County (9.2 percent) and Cumberland County (9.9 percent) have lower rates.
Harnett (12.1 percent), Randolph (12.8 percent), Montgomery (14 percent), Richmond (14.3 percent) and Lee (14.6 percent) have higher rates.
"The current economy continues to influence nearly every major job sector, mainly in manufacturing and construction," ESC Chairman Lynn Holmes said in a news release. "In our local employment offices, we see, as well, the impact on our citizens. The action by Congress to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program and the latest implementation of benefits will assist thousands more as they continue to look for work."
Contact John Krahnert III at by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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