Business

Unemployment continues to rise across N.C.

Posted July 25, 2008 11:18 a.m. EDT
Updated July 25, 2008 11:32 a.m. EDT

— The nationwide economic slowdown pushed the ranks of the unemployed higher in 82 of North Carolina's 100 counties last month, according to new state figures.

Eighty-four counties had unemployment rates of 5 to 10 percent in June, while 14 were below 5 percent and 2 were above 10 percent, according to a report released Friday by the state Employment Security Commission. In May, 18 were below 5 percent, 1 was above 10 percent and the remaining 81 were in the middle range.

Unemployment rates in all Triangle-area counties increased from May. In Wake County, the rate went from 4.4 percent to 4.8 percent, while it went from 4.8 to 5.1 percent in Durham County.

Orange County had the lowest June unemployment figures in the region at 4.6 percent, up from 4.1 percent in May, while Edgecombe County had the highest rate at 10.5 percent, up from 9.9 percent.

The state unemployment rate for June was 6.2 percent, up from 5.8 percent in May.

“The effect of the national economy is being felt in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties,” ESC Chairman Harry Payne said in a statement. “While the number of counties that had increasing rates is fewer than the previous month, we see that the rising price of gasoline is having an impact on the labor force. While our commission offices still receive job orders from employers, the pace has dropped. Even during the busy summer months, it appears employers have reduced hiring, making it a much tighter job market.”

Statewide, 283,965 people were unemployed in June, up from 264,659 in May. About $89.9 million in unemployment benefits was paid to 99,939 people in June, compared with $89.5 million to 98,102 people in May.