MEDIA RELEASE: Unemployment falls in most North Carolina counties

 Unemployment falls in most North Carolina counties

Three counties with highest unemployment rates see a dip in unemployment, and all metro areas see unemployment rates decline – but more job-creation efforts are needed


RALEIGH (Aug. 27, 2010) – Unemployment rates dropped in 86 of North Carolina's 100 counties in July. Although analysts welcomed the news, the unemployment rate remains above 10 percent in more than half of the state’s counties, indicating a need for new job-creation.


The three counties with the highest unemployment rates saw their rates decline. Scotland County’s unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points, Rutherford County by the same and Edgecombe County by 0.6 percentage points.


“While it's good to see unemployment numbers fall, we've got more work to do to get out of this recession,” Alexandra Forter Sirota, policy analyst with the NC Justice Center's Budget & Tax Center. “North Carolina needs new job-creation policies, like subsidies to help private employers hire new workers, to get our economic engine running.”


All metropolitan areas in North Carolina experienced declines in their unemployment rate in July, though the state's metros saw mixed improvements in their labor markets.


Durham/ Chapel Hill has the lowest unemployment rate among the metropolitan areas; Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton (12.7 percent) and Rocky Mount (12.8 percent) had the highest unemployment rates.


At the end of July, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked the Raleigh-Cary metro area 4th among the 100 largest metro areas for its job growth over the period 2005 to 2010.


But there remained significant job losses. The change over-the-month in employment in metro areas was largely driven by the loss of government jobs.


“These numbers are a reminder that we need to keep job-creation policies at the top of the agenda,” said Sirota. “Any drop in unemployment numbers is good news, but we still aren't creating enough jobs to keep pace with jobs lost during the recession, and lost government jobs are a barrier to future economic success.”


Education funding passed by Congress will go some way to addressing these job losses which have been attributed to local school district cuts, she said.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Alexandra Forter Sirota, 919.861.1468,; Jeff Shaw, director of communications, 503.551.3615,

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