Unemployment numbers mixed

Mar. 22, 2014 @ 11:22 AM

When compared with the same month in 2013, all 100 of North Carolina’s counties saw a decrease in the unemployment rate in January.

On the year, the jobless rate in Vance County fell 4.2 percentage points comparing January 2013 to January 2014. Granville County saw a 3.5 percentage point decrease, while Warren’s dropped 3.5 percentage points during the same period, according to a preliminary report released by the state Department of Commerce. The state saw a 2.5 percent point reduction for the same time frame.

While the yearly figures — which analysts said are a more reliable measure — showed a slow but noticeable downward trend, the monthly numbers weren’t as favorable for the Tri-County.

From December 2013 to January 2014, Vance County’s jobless rate increased from 9.2 percent to 9.7 percent, Warren County’s from 9 to 9.4 percent and Granville County’s from 6.8 to 7.1 percent. The state unemployment rate in January was 7 percent, a slight increase from December’s rate of 6.6 percent.

But it wasn’t all bad news; Vance County — which had previously ranked among the state’s worst at 91 out of 100 counties — climbed up to 87. Warren County ranked 81, while Granville County shot up to 35.

The counties with the highest number of unemployed in January were Dare (14.5 percent), Graham (14.4 percent), Scotland (13.1 percent), Hyde (13 percent) and Edgecombe (12.5 percent). Those with the lowest jobless rates were Orange (4.6 percent), Chatham (4.9 percent), Polk (4.9 percent), Buncombe (5.2 percent), and Wake and Henderson (both 5.3 percent).

Contact the writer at vshortley@hendersondispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at @herding_stets.