Polk unemployment rate continues to drop in March

Published 11:00 am Friday, May 6, 2011

Polk County’s unemployment rate continued to follow the statewide downward trend, decreasing six tenths of a percent in March. The rate dropped in March from 8.4 to 7.8 percent, according to the latest figures from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission (ESC).
Unemployment rates decreased in 99 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in March. Rates rose only in Greene County.
Polk County had a labor force of 9,158 in March, of whom 8,446 were employed and 712 were on the unemployment rolls.
Polk was one of 35 counties at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 9.7 percent, down from 10.1 percent in February. The March rate reflected a 1.8 percentage point drop over the year so far.
Rates decreased in all 14 of the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas for the second consecutive month. Asheville’s rate dropped from 8.6 percent to 8.1 percent in March.
Orange County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in March, at 6.1 percent (down from 6.2 percent in February), while Graham County had the highest rate, at 16.4 percent (down from 17.3 percent in February).
Statewide, the number of people employed (not seasonally adjusted) increased in March by 51,323 workers to 4,039,958. The number of people unemployed decreased by 15,025 workers. In March, 434,073 people were unemployed, compared with 445,872 in February.
“Unemployment rates declined in nearly every county in March,” said N.C. ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes. “We are beginning to see more counties drop below a rate of 10 percent unemployment. This reflects the commitment by Gov. Perdue and our workforce partners to grow jobs in our state, and this agency remains focused on putting people back to work.”
South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent in March for the first time in two years. The March rate of 9.9 percent is the lowest the state has achieved since its all-time high of 11.8 percent in 2009.
Spartanburg County’s jobless rate dropped from 10.1 percent in February to 9.5 percent in March. The rate in Greenville County also dropped, from 8.1 to 7.7 percent.
Nationwide, 216,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The unemployment rate, however, remained relatively unchanged, falling to 8.8 percent from 8.9 percent.

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