Polk unemployment rate drops slightly in February

Published 3:43 pm Monday, April 18, 2011

Polk County’s unemployment rate decreased four tenths of a percent in February, dropping from 8.8 to 8.4 percent, according to the latest figures from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission (ESC).
Unemployment rates decreased in 93 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in February. Rates remained the same in six counties and rose in only one, Perquimans County.
Polk County had a labor force of 9,098 in February, of whom 8,336 were employed and 762 were on the unemployment rolls.
Polk was one of 36 counties at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 10.1 percent. Rates decreased in all 14 of the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Asheville’s rate dropped from 8.9 percent to 8.5 percent in February.
Orange County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in February, at 6.2 percent (down from 6.5 percent in January), while Swain County had the highest rate, at 18.1 percent (down from 18.3 percent in January).
Statewide, the number of people employed (not seasonally adjusted) increased in February by 16,546 workers to 3,988,617. The number of people unemployed decreased by 15,025 workers. In February, 445,872 people were unemployed, compared with 460,897 in January.
“The unemployement rate declined in a majority of the counties in February,” said N.C. ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes. “Gov. Perdue has made creating jobs her top priority. The work of our economic development partners in sustaining and growing jobs, along with the efforts of our workforce development partners in helping people get back to work, continue to be our top priorities.”
South Carolina as a whole followed the same trend as its northern neighbor, with the unemployed rate dropping 0.3 percent in February to 10.2 percent from January’s 10.5 percent.
Spartanburg County’s jobless rate dropped from 10.4 percent in January to 10.1 percent in February. The rate in Greenville County, however, rose slightly, from 8.1 to 8.2 percent.
The highest rate in South Carolina was 20.2 percent, down from 21 percent in January. The lowest rate was 7.6 percent in Lexington County, up from 7.3 percent in January.
Nationwide, 192,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in February. The unemployment rate, however, remained relatively unchanged, falling to 8.9 percent from 9 percent.

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