County's Jobless Rate Falls Slightly
The unemployment rate in Moore County dropped one-tenth of a percentage point in July to 9 percent, a sign that the county was not hit hard by government layoffs.
The same could not be said for the rest of the state, where the loss of 11,000 government sector jobs offset a gain of 6,900 small private-sector jobs in July.
“All metropolitan areas across North Carolina experienced a loss in government employment, mainly in educational services,” says Lynn R. Holmes, chairman of the N.C. Employment Security Commission (ESC). “Job creation and assisting North Carolina’s workers with getting back to work continue to be our priorities.”
North Carolina had 44 counties, including Moore, that were at or below the state’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 10.3 percent. Unemployment rates decreased in 48 counties, increased in 39 and remained the same in 13.
Gene Norton, manager of the ESC office in Aberdeen, believes that summer jobs for high school and college students helped Moore County in July.
“They started those jobs in June and did not leave them until returning to school,” Norton says. “We won’t feel that back-to-school affect until September, so I don’t see any reason to think that there will be a significant change in the unemployment rate in August. It’s a seasonal thing that happens every year.
“I honestly don’t think there’s a whole lot to this. I think things are pretty much status quo.”
Moore County continued to fare better than all of its neighbors except Chatham County, where the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in July. Hoke was the only other nearby county with a single-digit rate, at 9.6 percent.
Cumberland, Harnett, Lee, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond and Scotland counties all had double-digit unemployment rates in July. Scotland had the state’s highest rate at 17.7 percent.
Moore County had a labor force of 37,226 people in July, of which 3,366 were unemployed.
“We did not get hit hard with government layoffs,” Norton says. “I would prefer to think that the rate in Moore County will continue to drop slightly.”
He adds that there are companies in Moore County looking to expand, but they haven’t pulled the trigger.
“I’m no economist, but I still believe the economy in Moore County is growing. It’s just growing very slowly,” Norton says. “There’s just not that impetus out there for a whole lot of money to be passed back and forth.”
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at email@example.com.
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