Jobless numbers climbing again

Mar. 22, 2013 @ 05:41 PM

Vance County’s unemployment rate climbed by a half-point in the latest numbers released Friday, to 13.8 for the month of January.

The numbers were released by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division. Unemployment also rose in Granville and Warren counties.

Vance County was listed with a labor force of 19,524, and 2,701 were counted as unemployed. The county ranks tied for 85th in the state. Vance was at 14.0 in January 2012.

The Tri-County area was no different than North Carolina’s other counties. All 100 had increases. Since January 2012, the state number has increased by 14,640 while the number of employed increased by 68,375.

“All the surrounding counties have the same issue, which tells me it is somewhat seasonal,” said Stuart Litvin, director of the Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Commission. “If you pull up other counties throughout the state, you’ll see the same trend.

“I don’t think there’s anything alarming about it.”

Warren County’s rate of 12.9 was up from 12.1 in December, and numbers 1,021 unemployed. Warren County was at 13.4 in January 2012.

Granville County’s rate of 10.3 was up from 9.6 in December, and numbers 2,793. Granville County was at 9.9 in January 2012.

“Our labor force increased,” Litvin said. “The labor force in Franklin County actually increased, the labor force in Warren went up, and over in Granville County, their labor force went up.

“That’s a good thing people are re-entering the work force and looking for job. A larger labor force is good to market to potential companies.”

Graham (20.4), Dare (20.1), Swain (19.0), Scotland (17.8), Edgecombe (16.6), Hyde (15.7), Mitchell (15.5), Halifax (14.7), Rutherford (14.7), Cherokee (14.1) and Robeson (13.9) are worse than Vance County. Ashe, Columbus and Yancey are the same at 13.8.

North Carolina’s statewide unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, up from 9.4 in December. The labor force grew by 9,131. In January 2012, North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 9.6 percent.

The national unemployment rate rose from 7.8 in December to 7.9 in January.

Unemployment rose in half of the U.S. states in January, with the fewest jobs added in seven months.

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.