Long, long time coming down

Jan. 07, 2014 @ 10:14 PM

In December 2008, too big to fail wasn’t a part of our vocabulary, Barack Obama awaited inauguration as the first black president and Vance County unemployment was “only” 8.9 percent.

A long, long 59 months later, November 2013 is the first month since for unemployment to go below double figures in Vance County. In statistics released Tuesday, Vance’s rate fell to 9.6 percent, an equivalent to 1,810 people in the work force of 18,927 who are unemployed.

Vance was at 10.5 percent in October numbers released by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor & Economic Analysis Division. As recently as July, the rate was 12.9 percent.

Vance County was at 13.9 percent in January a year ago. Its worst since the end of 2008 was 15.0 percent in June 2009.

Vance County hit 14.0 percent unemployment or worse at some point in each of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Numbers across the state were similar in drops, including in neighboring Granville and Warren counties. Granville reported 7.0 percent unemployment and Warren 9.3. In all three counties, the labor force dropped in addition to the number of unemployed dropping.

Vance County’s labor force is now 18,927; Granville is 26,841; and Warren is 7,594.

With 91 counties trending downward, Vance County’s ranking improved little among the state’s 100. Vance is ranked 93rd while Granville is 38th and Warren 87th.

The unemployment race nationally is 7.0 percent. The statewide not seasonally adjusted rate in November was 6.9 percent.

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.