BY JOHN H. WALKER
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
TARBORO — After three consecutive months of decline, Edgecombe County’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate rose six-tenths of a percent in May to 14.1 percent.
That meant Edgecombe had the third-highest rate in the state, with only Graham and Scotland counties have a greater percentage of unemployed workers. May marked the 59th consecutive month for double-digit unemployment in the county.
Unemployment rates increased in 87 counties, decreased in 12 and remained the same in one. All 14 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases
Despite that improvement, the county ranked No. 97 — out of 100 — in the number of persons without a job. April marked the 58th consecutive
Locally, the increase following a three-month decline mirrors 2012, when the rate spiked in January, then dropped in February, March and April. After that, the rate climbed over the next three months.
In May, the Edgecombe County workforce consisted of 24,542 employed and 3,472 unemployed.
Among area counties, Pitt had the lowest rate at 8.4 percent, followed by Martin at 10.2, Nash at 11.7, Wilson at 12.3 and Halifax at 12.4.
Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 12.8 percent experienced the highest rate and Durham-Chapel Hill at 6.8 percent had the lowest. The May not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 8.9 percent.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in May by 29,957 to 4,320,014, while those unemployed increased 27,105 to 424,551. Since May 2012, the number of workers employed statewide increased 26,455, while those unemployed decreased 17,758.