Jobless rate edges downward
The Tri-County area continued to see slight decreases in the unemployment rate, according to statistics released Wednesday by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Vance County’s rate dropped to 9.2 percent, down from November’s rate of 9.6 percent. It remains among the state’s worst, ranking 91 of 100; this, too, is slightly better than November’s 93 placement. Dare (9.2 percent), Robeson (9.7 percent), Swain (9.7 percent), Bladen (9.9 percent), Hyde (10 percent), Halifax (10 percent), Edgecombe (11.6 percent), Graham (12.2 percent) and Scotland (12.6 percent) all saw higher levels of unemployment.
Warren County saw a similar decrease, going from 9.3 percent in November to 9 percent in December, ranking 85th in the state.
Granville County, which has the lowest unemployment rate in the Tri-County area, fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.8 percent. Its numbers put it in the top half of the rankings, clocking in at 42.
The labor force also decreased in all three counties, and they all remain above the state unemployment rate of 6.6 percent.
December’s unemployment figures represent a downward trend from the same period in 2012, when most of the area hovered at more than 10 percent unemployment. Vance’s rate in December 2012 was 13.3 percent, Warren’s 12.1 percent and Granville’s 9.6 percent.
The preliminary statewide unemployment rate for December 2013 is 6.6 percent, a slight decrease over November’s rate of 6.9 percent. The federal unemployment rate was 6.6 percent for the same period.
When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted rates decreased in all of the state’s 100 counties.