Unemployment up across N.C.

Posted August 22, 2008 10:27 a.m. EDT
Updated August 22, 2008 11:44 a.m. EDT

— Unemployment rates increased in 97 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in July, according to statistics released Friday by the state Employment Security Commission.

Dare and Swain counties were the only counties to post lower unemployment rates, while Gaston County showed no change.

“North Carolina had a large increase in the labor force throughout many of the state’s counties during July, however unemployment also rose,” ESC Chairman Harry Payne said in a statement. “Much of the increase is attributed to the significant number of people entering and re-entering the labor force, which could be a sign that workers believe jobs are out there and they are actively looking. We were encouraged by the large number of workers – 31,435 – who found employment in July.”

Unemployment in Wake County jumped from 4.8 percent in June to 5.2 percent, while Durham County's rate went from 5.1 to 5.5 percent. The rate in Orange County went from 4.6 to 5.1 percent, while Johnston County's rate went from 5.6 to 6.2 percent and Cumberland County's went from 6.6 to 7.2 percent.

Edgecombe County continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the region, at 11.2 percent.

Statewide, the unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, up from 6.2 percent in June. The seasonally adjusted rate, reported Aug. 15, was 6.6 percent. State officials do not compute seasonal adjustments for the 100 counties, however.

Total employment increased in July by 31,453 workers, from 4,316,413 to 4,347,866. The unemployment total in July was 317,972 people, compared with 283,350 in June.