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County unemployment rate drops almost 4 points since February ‘13


Staff reports


Lincoln County saw a substantial drop in its unemployment rate for February 2014, according to the latest figures released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce on Wednesday.

The number dropped half a percentage point to 6.5 percent, down from 7 percent a month earlier. The new unemployment rate is almost four percentage points lower than it was in February of 2013, peaking at 10.2 percent.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 95 of North Carolina’s counties in February, while four counties experienced an increase in their not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates and one county remained the same. In addition, all 14 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases.

Graham County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 13.8 percent, while Orange County had the lowest at 4.4 percent. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 9.6 percent experienced the highest rate, and Durham-Chapel Hill experienced the lowest at 5.0 percent. The February (not seasonally adjusted) statewide rate was 6.6 percent.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in February by 9,487 to 4,307,683 workers, while those unemployed decreased 18,862 to 304,755. Since February 2013, the number of workers statewide has increased 43,250, while those unemployed decreased 120,869.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce advises the public to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns, and therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Monday, April 21, when the March 2014 state unemployment rates will be released. Those interested in more information about the state’s unemployment rates should visit www.ncesc.com.



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