01/09/18 — Wayne County unemployment rate increases

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Wayne County unemployment rate increases

By Melinda Harrell
Published in News on January 9, 2018 5:50 AM

More than 2,500 people in the labor force in Wayne County are unemployed, according to recently released data from North Carolina Department of Commerce.

The county's unemployment rate showed a 0.5 percentage point spike in unemployment over the month of November, increasing from 4.6 percent in October to 5.1 percent in November.

Wayne County is the 69th county with the highest unemployment rate.

The county's rate runs middle of the road compared to surrounding areas in the east.

Wilson County's rate is a staggering 7 percent, making the county one of the top 10 counties with the highest unemployment rate; Duplin and Sampson counties rates are 5 and 4.9 percent respectively; Johnston County is 4.1 percent; and Lenoir and Greene counties are 4.7 percent and 4.6 percent respectively.

Goldsboro's metropolitan unemployment rate is the same as the county's at 5.1 percent, making the city 12th with the highest unemployment rate compared to other 15 metropolitan areas across the state.

Goldsboro's rate, however, is far better than Wilson's 7 percent but lackluster compared to Kinston's 4.7 percent.

Though the over-the-month unemployment rate seems dismal, in 2017 the unemployment rate in the county and across the state showed a steady decrease, though not a robust decline.

Wayne County, in November of 2016, reported an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent.


The county's increase is in line with county unemployment numbers statewide, in which 99 counties saw an over-the-month increase.

Across the state there are more than 4.5 million in the labor force without a job.

The state's unemployment rate is 4.3 percent, which is slightly higher than the national rate of 4.1 percent.

The counties in the state with the highest unemployment rates are Tyrrell County at 8.1 percent; Scotland at 7.9 percent; and Edgecombe at 7.6 percent.

In comparison, counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Buncombe at 3.4 percent; Orange at 3.6 percent and Alexander at 3.8 percent.

Over the year, employment opportunities increased in 12 of the 15 metropolitan areas, with the Charlotte area adding 20,100 jobs; the Raleigh area adding 19,600 and Durham area adding 8,700 jobs.

The report released by the N.C. Department of Commerce indicates that "broader trends remain positive" and "more people are participating in the labor force," with the labor force participation rate being around 61 percent.

Private sector companies added 62,400 jobs between November 2016 and November 2017, indicating a growing opportunities for employment, but mostly in the professional, education and health services fields.

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.