01/02/18 — Sector growth may have missed county

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Sector growth may have missed county

By Melinda Harrell
Published in News on January 2, 2018 5:50 AM

Data released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce depicts the state's private sector growth over 2017, but preliminary data indicates that Wayne County might be lagging behind.

With the state's unemployment rate at 4.3 percent, private sector companies added 62,400 jobs between November 2016 and November 2017.

Of the state's burgeoning private sector, it was the professional business services industry -- employment requiring special training, licensure or expertise such as auditors, engineers and architects or specialized positions such as working in the accounting and marketing fields -- that saw the most growth over the year, adding more than 34,000 jobs.

Second and third in growth, behind business services, are education and health and trade, transportation and utilities. Growth in those fields, though, is dwarfed by the professional services industry, amounting only to a little more than 27,000 jobs combined.

Despite the numbers reported at the state level, Wayne County's private sector has declined by 941 filled job positions.

Based on the 2016 annual employment numbers and 2017 first quarter employment numbers, Wayne County dropped to 32,302 positions in the private sector.

The health care and social assistance industry leads the market at 6,259 jobs and retail trade is the second leading leading industry in the county with 5,999 jobs.

Though the job market constricted marginally according to the first quarter numbers for Wayne County, figures have yet to be filed by the N.C. Department of Commerce and are subject to change.

The most current unemployment rate for the county -- 4.6 percent rate in October -- is slightly more than the state's November 2017 rate, with 52,589 people in the labor force and 2,439 people unemployed.

The unemployment rate compared to October 2016 is reduced by 2.9 percent. In 2016, Wayne County's unemployment rate was registered at 7.5 percent in October.

Wayne County ranked 70 out of the 100 counties with the highest unemployment rate, but compared to the surrounding counties, it is on par with regional data.

Wilson County's rate is 6.6 percent, which is one of top 10 highest in the state as of October.

Lenoir and Duplin counties have a slightly lower unemployment rate of 4.4 percent with Sampson andGreene counties checked in at 4.3 and 4.1 percent respectively.

Johnston County's rate is notably low at 3.8 percent.

Scotland County is home to the state's highest unemployment rate at 7.2 percent, followed by Edgecombe at 6.9 percent.

The lowest rate of unemployment in the state can be found in Buncombe County -- 3.1 percent -- followed by Orange County at 3.3 percent.

The Department of Commerce's metropolitan statistic for Goldsboro is the same as the county's rate of 4.6 percent.

Of the 15 listed metropolitan areas in the state, Goldsboro has the 12th highest unemployment rate, matching Jacksonville at 4.6 percent, and exceeded by Fayetteville at 5.2 percent and Rocky Mount at 6 percent.