Ashe joined most of the rest of North Carolina, as 93 out of the state’s 100 counties increased in December. Rates decreased in four counties and remained the same in three.
“Our focus is helping existing and new employers grow jobs in North Carolina,” said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. “Assisting our customers with finding work and helping them through programs at our DES offices and JobLink Career Centers statewide remains our priority.”
Thirty seven N.C. counties were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 9.8 percent. Rates also increased in 13 of the state’s 14 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Burlington’s unemployment rate decreased by .6 percent, falling to 9.7 percent in December from 10.3 percent in November.
In Ashe County, unemployment increased to 11.6 percent in December, from 10.1 percent in November. Year over year, the Ashe County unemployment picture was slightly worse, rising to 11.6 percent vs. 11.5 percent in December 2010. Statewide, the unemployment rate increased to 9.8 percent from 9.5 percent in November. Year over year, NC unemployment increased by .1 percent from 9.7 percent in December 2010.
In addition to climbing unemployment, Ashe County’s labor force also contracted, falling to 11,703 in December from 12,080 in November. The state’s labor force (not seasonally adjusted) also contracted in December by 32,021 workers, to 4,038,091.
The seven counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Orange County at 6.1 percent, Gates at 7 percent, Durham at 7.5 percent, Buncombe at 7.6 percent, Henderson at 7.6 percent, Polk at 7.7 percent, and Wake at 7.7 percent.
The seven counties with the highest unemployment rate are Graham at 17.5 percent, Scotland at 17.1 percent, Dare at 15.7 percent, Edgecombe at 15.7 percent, Swain at 15.7 percent, Rutherford at 13.7 percent, and Vance at 13.3 percent.
Of Ashe County’s neighbors, Watauga County’s unemployment rate increased to 7.8 percent from 7.3 percent in November. Wilkes County’s rate increased to 11 percent from 10.6 percent, Alleghany County increased to 12.2 percent from 10.9 percent, and Avery County’s rate increased to 12.2 percent from 11.1 percent.
In Ashe County, the unemployment benefits paid over the past 12 months (December 2010-December 2011) were $10,973,978. Watauga County residents received $10,992,335, Avery’s received $5,959,317, Alleghany $4,106,916, and Wilkes $26,461,545.
The N.C. DES’s own Job Connector website lists 182 jobs available in Ashe, Avery, Alleghany, Watauga and Wilkes counties. The Job Connector website can be accessed by going to ncesc.com, click on individual services in the menu at left, then select “Find jobs with NC Job Connector.” From there, applicants can choose “Preview job listings” where up to two counties at a time can be selected to seach for available positions.
Bucking the October trend that saw Ashe County’s labor force contract in September and October, the county’s labor force grew to 12,080 from 11,936 in October. Coupled with a decrease in unemployment, the expansion likely indicates increased hiring in Ashe County.
story created on Wednesday 2/1/2012 at 11:19:25 am by Linda Burchette