BY JOHN H. WALKER
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Edgecombe County’s unemployment rate dropped for the second straight month and the county, ranked 99th after November’s data was released, improved to 97th in December.
In December, Edgecombe’s rate dropped almost half a point — from 12.0 in November to 11.6.
Still, it marked the 66th consecutive month for Edgecombe to be in double digits.
Scotland County, which, like Edgecombe, has perennially high unemployment rates, had the highest rate in the state at 12.6 percent. Orange County had the lowest rate at 4.1 percent. Among the state’s Metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 9.5 percent while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest at 4.9 percent. The unemployment rate in all 14 Metro areas decreased when compared to last year.
Rates in area counties included Halifax (10.0), Martin (7.5) Nash (8.2), Pitt (6.5) and Wilson (9.0).
In December, Edgecombe’s workforce stood at 23,872, which was down more than 1,000 from November, with 2,768 persons unemployed (down 120). The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in December by 18,410 to 4,315,366 while those unemployed decreased 17,561 to 305,196. Since November 2012, the number of workers employed statewide increased 29,050 while those unemployed decreased 140,214.