Polk unemployment rises 1.3 percent to 8.8 percent

Published 5:04 pm Friday, April 1, 2011

Polk County’s unemployment is rising, following a statewide trend, according to the latest figures from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission (ESC).
The county’s unemployment rate, which was 7.5 in December 2010, rose to 8.8 percent in January 2011, an increase of 1.3 percent.
Polk County had a labor force of 9,094 in January, of whom 8,290 were employed and 804 were on the unemployment rolls.
Unemployment rates rose in 99 of North Carolina’s 100 counties between December 2010 and January 2011.
Polk was one of 37 counties that were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 10.5 percent. Rates increased in all 14 of the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Asheville’s rate rose to 8.9 percent from 7.9 percent in December.
Orange County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in January, at 6.5 percent, while Graham County had the highest rate, at 19.4 percent.
The number of people employed (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in January by 28,491 workers to 3,971,824. The number of people unemployed increased by 34,897 workers. The number of unemployed people in January was 463,492 workers, compared with 428,495 in December.
N.C. ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes said the January 2011 data reflected a decrease in 86 counties over the year.
“We continue to recognize that there are still challenges ahead of us as we continue to rebuild our local economies,” Holmes said. “North Carolina’s workforce development partners continue to provide services focused on helping people getting back to work.”
In South Carolina, the unemployed rate dropped 0.4 percent in January to 10.5 percent from December’s 10.9 percent. Spartanburg County’s jobless rate dropped from 10.7 percent in December to 10.4 percent in January, while the rate dropped in Greenville County from 8.8 to 8.2 percent.
“Employment in South Carolina has risen during the past 12 months and now stands at 18,600 more people with jobs compared to this same time last year,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director John Finan. “The news in South Carolina is positive and shows improvement in both employment and the unemployment rate, which gives rise to the hope and expectation that the number of jobs will continue to increase.”
The highest rate in the state was 21.0 percent in Marion County. The lowest was 7.4 percent in Lexington County.

January 2011
unemployment rates

U.S.    9.0 pct.

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N.C.      10.6 pct.
Polk Co.      8.8 pct.
Henderson      8.5 pct.
Rutherford    15.5 pct.

S.C.    10.5 pct.
Spartanburg    10.4 pct.
Greenville      8.2 pct.