Triangle jobless ranks swell in February

Posted April 1, 2009

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— Unemployment in Triangle metro areas jumped by nearly a full percentage point in February, according to data released Wednesday by the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.

Raleigh-Cary’s jobless ranks swelled to 8.8 percent, from 7.9 percent in January. In Durham-Chapel Hill, unemployment rose to 8 percent, from 7.3 percent the previous month.

Unemployment also jumped in Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro and Greenville.

Statewide, unemployment rates increased in 99 of 100 counties – Caswell County was the lone exception, with its rate dropping from 13.2 to 13 percent.

Unemployment in North Carolina is the highest in years, at 11.3 percent, as the impact of the global recession continues to deepen.

“Virtually every job sector in North Carolina has had some loss because of the national recession,” ESC Chairman Moses Carey Jr. said in a statement.

The number of non-farm jobs in Durham-Chapel Hill increased by 800 jobs in February.

Top growth areas included government (1,300), education and health services (800), leisure and hospitality (600) and professional and business services (400). However, those gains were offset by the loss of 1,100 trade, transportation and utilities and 1,000 manufacturing jobs.

An overall increase in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits drove the metro area’s jobless rate higher despite the increase in non-farm jobs.

During the past year, Durham-Chapel Hill has lost 2,200, or 0.8 percent, of its non-farm jobs.

In Raleigh-Cary, a net 700 non-farm jobs disappeared in February, led by a drop of 1,000 trade, transportation and utilities and 900 manufacturing positions. Education and health services added 900 jobs.

In the past year, Raleigh-Cary has been hit by 16,500, or 3.2 percent, losses in non-farm employment.

The jobless rate in the state’s metropolitan areas were:

  • Asheville – 9.7 percent, up from 8.7 percent in January.
  • Burlington – 12 percent, up from 11 percent.
  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord NC-SC – 11.7 percent, up from 10.5 percent.
  • Durham-Chapel Hill – 8 percent, up from 7.3 percent.
  • Fayetteville – 9.5 percent, up from 8.8 percent.
  • Goldsboro – 9.7 percent, up from 9.1 percent.
  • Greensboro-High Point – 11.6 percent, up from 10.6 percent.
  • Greenville – 10.4 percent, up from 9.8 percent.
  • Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton – 15.7 percent, up from 13.6 percent.
  • Jacksonville – 9.1 percent, up from 8.4 percent.
  • Raleigh-Cary – 8.8 percent, up from 7.9 percent.
  • Rocky Mount – 14.4 percent, up from 13.2 percent.
  • Wilmington – 10.8 percent up from 9.9 percent.
  • Winston-Salem – 10.4 percent, up from 9.2 percent.

Carey had some good news for people who are out of work.

“Over the course of the next week we will begin paying an additional $25 a week to those who are eligible for unemployment benefits,” he said.

The funds were coming through the federal economic stimulus package and were retroactive to Feb. 28, according to the ESC.

County-by-county unemployment rates for February and January in the WRAL viewing area were as follows:

  • Wake, 8.3 from 7.4
  • Durham, 8.0 from 7.3
  • Orange, 6.5, up from 5.8
  • Cumberland, 9.6 from 8.9
  • Chatham, 8.5 from 7.7
  • Edgecombe, 16.9 from 15.5
  • Franklin, 11.0 from 10.0
  • Granville, 10.5 from 9.4
  • Halifax, 14.8 from 13.5
  • Harnett, 11.8 from 10.7
  • Hoke, 9.0 from 8.2
  • Johnston, 10.7 from 9.8
  • Lee, 15.1 from 13.1
  • Moore, 11.0 from 10.0
  • Nash, 13.2 from 12.0
  • Person, 12.6 from 11.8
  • Sampson, 9.2 from 8.6
  • Vance, 14.4 from 12.9
  • Warren, 15.2 from 12.9
  • Wayne, 9.7 from 9.1
  • Wilson, 12.5 from 11.6

This story is closed for comments.

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  • affirmativediversity Apr 1, 2009

    We better not pout, We better not cry, We better not shout, I'm telling you why ...BIDEN IS COMING TO TOWN!

    That should solve all of our problems...COMIC RELIEF, just what we need!

  • coolbreeze6644 Apr 1, 2009

    foetine, what I have done to help:
    1. never collected unemployment even after being laid off last year
    2. went and found a new job by myself with no help from the government
    3. take of my kids instead of running away and letting a single mom apply for a WIC card and food stamps to take care of them.

    Here ends the lesson.......

  • getrealpeople Apr 1, 2009

    but our state leaders gave GMAC $$$ to come to charlotte. Just like the $$$ given to Dell (1.5 million) layoffs in NC 150.
    See the list in Triangle business journal. The leaders of NC lured RH Donnely with 1.5 million they got rid of 29 people. They publish they great yellow pages no one uses. while NC faltered Easley was in Rome....

  • scientistjo Apr 1, 2009

    "Excellent. I hope it keeps going up." whatelseisnew

    What's wrong with you?

  • Stringbean Apr 1, 2009

    E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

    E-Verify is free and voluntary and is the best means available for determining employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security Numbers LET'S PUT AMERICAN'S BACK TO WORK.

  • ibbott41 Apr 1, 2009

    I wonder if the 15.1% unemployment in Lee County (the highest in the state) would decrease a little if the existing companies will start using E-Verify.
    It is about time these companies do something good for Lee County and the entire community. They are still hiring people with fake documents.

  • dohicky Apr 1, 2009

    I can't figure out why the government figure out where the jobs are. When I got out of high school if you didn't have a special skill or go to college you went to work in a textile plant or joined the service and nothing wrong with either of those. There are no textile plants - you can't find clothes or shoes made here. Duh!!! There were no community colleges, if you didn't have money, which most people didn't, you worked your way through college or trade school and bettered yourself. Government was not the answer. It is called independence and pride.

  • dohicky Apr 1, 2009

    Great! These people get $25 a week from the stimulus package while the AIG guys who helped make this mess get millions plus all the CEO's of companies that we don't even know about. I know the people out of work appreciate this little bit but something just isn't right. Oh, I forgot it is called greed.

  • pappybigtuna1 Apr 1, 2009

    hey "whatel" who do you think gave the jobs away? Are you old enough to remember NAFTA? Clinton signed that bill, a down hill slide, we are there today.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 1, 2009

    It amazes me that people actually expect Government to get them a job. Wow