Unemployment swells across N.C.
Posted January 30, 2009 10:32 a.m. EST
Updated October 12, 2011 9:50 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Unemployment rose in 97 of North Carolina's 100 counties in December, and more than a third of the state is reporting jobless rates of at least 10 percent, officials said Friday.
“Every corner of North Carolina is feeling the effects of our national economy," Moses Carey, chairman of the state Employment Security Commission, said in a statement. "Layoffs and cutbacks have taken a toll on many of our sectors, including retail during the holiday season, professional and business services, along with construction and manufacturing."
Total employment decreased in December by 56,400 workers, while the number of unemployed again set a record, increasing to 383,528 workers from 355,838 in November.
Orange County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 4.8 percent, the only county in North Carolina with unemployment below 5 percent. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 13.9 percent.
The only areas across the state not to see higher unemployment in December were Chatham and Granville counties, where the rates dropped slightly, and Greene County, where it remained steady.
Wake County saw its unemployment rise from 5.8 percent in November to 6.1 percent, and Durham's rate went from 5.8 percent to 6.2 percent. Unemployment in Cumberland County rose from 7.5 to 7.9 percent, and Johnston County's rate went from 7.4 to 8 percent.
Thirty-four counties have unemployment rates of 10 percent or higher, twice the number that reported double-digit rates in November.
The statewide unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December, the highest rate since June 1983.