Polk’s unemployment rate improves slightly in February

Published 5:36 pm Monday, April 9, 2012

Polk County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in February, from 8.5 percent in January to 8.4 percent, according to the latest figures from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission (ESC). That rate is down significantly from the county’s rate of 9.3 in February 2011.
Polk followed a statewide trend of dropping unemployment in February. Unemployment rates decreased in 84 of North Carolina’s 100 counties over the month. Rates increased in 10 counties and remained the same in six.
“A majority of North Carolina’s counties have lower unemployment rates compared to last year,’ said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. “While the over-the-year numbers are positive, we must continue our focus on job growth across the state.”
The county’s rate is the seventh lowest in the state. Orange County had the lowest rate at 6.3 percent, followed by Gates and Henderson counties at 7.7 percent. Durham and Wake counties both had rates of 7.9 percent, while Buncombe had a rate of 8.2 percent.
Graham County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 20.7 percent, down 0.2 percent from January. Rutherford County was seventh in the state at 15.0 percent.
Statewide, North Carolina’s unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased from 10.5 in January to 10.1 in February. The state’s rate was 1.8 percent higher than the national rate in February, which was 8.3 percent.
Polk County had a labor force of 9,378 in February, of whom 788 were on the unemployment rolls.
Statewide, the number of people who were unemployed in February was 472,573.
South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped for the seventh consecutive month, falling from 9.3 percent in January to 9.1 percent in February.
In the last 12 months, there was little change in the state’s overall labor force, but employment improved, climbing about 32,560.
In Spartanburg and Greenville counties, however, the jobless rate increased slightly. Spartanburg’s rate in February was 9.5 percent, compared to 9.4 in January, and Greenville County’s rate went from 7.0 to 7.2.