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Area jobless rates down in July

Jobless rate by county July FINAL.jpg

Shown here is the N.C. Commerce's statewide map illustrating unemployment rates by county, The pattern continues to remain that counties with the highest rates can be found along or east of Interstate 95, while counties with the lowest rates can be found in the western part of the state and the Research Triangle Region.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Most area counties saw unemployment rates fall in July, although Pasquotank, Perquimans and Chowan counties continued a trend of being higher than the statewide average.

Camden and Currituck counties posted lower-than-average rates.

The most recent data from N.C. Department of Commerce, for the month of July, showed Perquimans posted the highest jobless rate in the area at 5.1 percent, which is unchanged from June.

Pasquotank posted a rate of 4.8 percent, down from 5 percent in June, while Chowan posted a rate of 4.6 percent, also down from 4.8 percent. 

Eighty-four counties saw jobless rates decreased in July. The rates increased in four counties and remained unchanged in 12.

Statewide, the jobless rate for July was 4.1 percent compared to 4.2 percent in June. The latest data was released on Aug. 29.

In the Albemarle region, Camden posted a 3.8 percent rate for July compared to a 4.1 percent rate in June, while Currituck posted a 3.5 percent rate for July compared to a 3.7 percent rate in June.

Among other area counties, Dare posted a 3.5 percent rate for July compared to 3.9 in June, while Gates posted a 4.2 percent rate for July compared to 4.4 percent in June.

Scotland County posted North Carolina’s highest unemployment rate for July, at 7.8 percent.

Additionally, the data continued to show high jobless rates along or east of the Interstate 95 corridor, with Edgecombe second in the state, at 7.2 percent, followed by Wilson, at 6.8 percent, and Halifax, at 6.6 percent.

Buncombe County posted North Carolina's lowest jobless rate, at 3.1 percent.

Commerce officials said the number of workers employed statewide increased in July by 17,530 to 4,846,645, while the number of those unemployed decreased 6,112 to 206,069.

Since July 2017, the N.C. Commerce officials said, the number of workers employed statewide increased 96,519, while the number of those unemployed decreased 31,893.

Overall, the N.C. Commerce officials said the Fed’s index of leading economic indicators hit nearly a five-year high for North Carolina in June, projecting strong growth the next six months.

The officials said the biggest potential weakness in the most recent economic data came from the housing sector, as shown by the number of residential building permits having declined for the sixth straight month.

So far, the officials said, there’s no consensus on what’s fueling this or if/when this might impact the broader economy. 

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