Some Clayton residents are hopeful for economic turnaround
Posted December 1, 2011
Clayton, N.C. — The Christmas tree lighting in downtown Clayton on Thursday was a welcome sight for many in the community who were hit hard by the economy this year.
"My job just stopped. They folded," Jeff Waller said.
Waller, who brought his 6-year-old daughter to the lighting on Main Street, said he was let go just over a month ago.
Local business owner Joyce Blackley served as Grand Marshal of the town's Christmas Village and Tree Lighting ceremony. Her business, Blackley's Printing & Sign Shop, has been operating for decades, but was not immune to the economy.
"We took a downtown like everyone else did," Blackley said.
Things are beginning to change, Blackley said. She said many shops along Main Street are starting to open up again and neighborhoods are expanding.
"We are seeing people come back, and they are trying to make things happen," Blackley said.
Johnston County was one of 83 counties in the state where unemployment dipped in October, according to the state Division of Employment Security reports released Thursday. Johnston County's unemployment dropped to 9 percent.
Waller said he was recently able to find another job.