Labor force dwindles, unemployment rate improves
Vance County’s labor force is continuing its yearlong dwindling.
According to the latest employment numbers from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economics Analysis Division, the county has lost 739 from the labor force since January. That includes another 102 this past month, when unemployment for the county checked in at an improved 11.7 percent.
The rate is more than a percentage point better than a month ago, when it was 12.9. The August figure represents the first decrease since the spring, when the rate dropped from 12.2 to 11.7 from March to April.
Warren County’s unemployment also fell, going from 11.6 to 10.9 percent, and Granville County dropped from 9.4 to 8.7 percent.
The state rate for August was 8.7 percent and the national mark is 7.3 percent.
According to the department’s numbers, Vance County has 235 fewer employees in August than in January. The county had 16,916 employed in May, the highest all year, and rose from 16,446 in July to 16,588 this month.
All three counties have endured steady decreases since January in both the number within the labor force and the number of unemployed.
Vance County had 2,701 unemployed in January and a labor force of 19,524. In August, the numbers were 2,197 and 18,785, respectively.
Warren County counted 1,021 unemployed in January from a labor force of 7,934. In August, the numbers were 850 and 7,815, respectively.
Granville County counted 2,793 unemployed in January from a labor force of 27,174. In August, the numbers were 2,328 and 26,866, respectively.
The state reported 98 of 100 counties with decreases in unemployment rates during August. Vance County’s unemployment percentage is ranked 94th of 100, Warren is 87th and Granville is 51st.
The only counties worse than Vance are Scotland (15.2 percent), Edgecombe (13.0), Graham (12.3), Halifax (12.1) and Robeson (12.0).
Vance, Warren and Granville counties have each had improvement from 12 months earlier. In August 2012, the Vance unemployment rate was 13.5, Warren was 12.7 and Granville was 10.2.