Polk June unemployment rate rises, following state trend

Published 8:54 am Friday, August 5, 2011

Polk County’s unemployment rate rose .5 percent in June, from 7.2 percent in May to 7.7 percent in June, according to the latest figures from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission (ESC).
Polk followed a statewide trend of rising unemployment in June. Unemployment rates rose in 91 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in June. Rates decreased in six counties and remained the same in three.
“What we are seeing in most metropolitan areas across North Carolina is a loss in government employment,” said ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes. “This is partially attributed to changes in local and state education at the end of the school year. The ESC’s mission, along with our economic and workforce development partners, is to put people back to work.”
The county’s rate is still one of the lowest in the state. Currituck County had the lowest rate at 5.6 percent, followed by Hyde at 6.9 percent, Chatham at 7.0 percent, Orange at 7.2 percent, Gates at 7.5 percent and then Polk at 7.7 percent.
Scotland County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 17.1 percent, up 0.8 percent from last month. Edgecombe County had the second highest rate at 15.5 percent, up one percent from May.
Polk County’s June rate reflected 1.1 percentage point drop from last June, when Polk’s rate was 8.8 percent.
Statewide, North Carolina’s unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) rose from 9.7 in May to 10.4 in June. The state’s rate was 1.2 percent higher than the national rate in June, which was 9.2 percent.
In the state’s metropolitan statistical areas, unemployment rates increased in all 14 of the areas. The Rocky Mount metropolitan area had the highest unemployment rate in June at 13.7 percent. The Durham/Chapel Hill area had the lowest rate at 8.0 percent, which increased 0.7 of a percentage point from the previous month. Asheville followed at 8.2 percent.
Polk County had a labor force of 9,283 in May, of whom 713 were on the unemployment rolls, up from 659 in May.
Statewide, the number of people who were unemployed in June was 469,472.
South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June increased from 10.0 percent in May to 10.5 percent in June, accodrding to figures from the Employers Association of South Carolina. The employment rate increase in June stems from a higher number of people seeking work, combined with a decrease in job openings.
Spartanburg County’s jobless rate rose from 10.4 percent in May to 11.7 percent in June, an increase of 1.3 percent. The rate in Greenville County also rose, from 8.5 to 9.4 percent. These rates are nearly identical to those of June 2010.

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