The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

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February 4, 2013

Unemployment increases in December

ROCKY MOUNT — Unemployment is Edgecombe County remained in double-digits for the 55th consecutive month in December, according to statistics released last week by the North Carolina Dept. of Commerce's labor analysis division.

Increasing a full percentage point — 15.0 vs. 14.0 — from November to December, Edgecombe joined 96 other counties in showing an increase from the previous month. The local rate was down 1.1 percent when compared to December 2011. Only Jones County (Trenton) showed a drop, down to 9.0 percent from 9.2.

The state's lowest unemployment rate was in Orange County at 5.9 percent. Graham had the highest, at 18.5 percent, followed by Scotland (16.6), Swain (16.5), Dare (15.9) and Edgecombe.

A total of 26,405 persons were employed in December, while another 3,952 were without a job. That compares to 26,481 persons employed in the county in November and 26,375 in October. December broke a string of three consecutive months of job growth in the county.

Statewide, the December rate was 9.5 percent, up from 9.0 the previous month and down 0.7 percent from December 2011, when the rate was 10.2.

Thirteen of the state's 14 MSA's showed an increase in December over November with Rocky Mount topping the list at 12.5 percent, up from the previous month's 11.7. Greenville increased from 9.2 percent to 9.6 percent.

All five area counties showed an increase — Pitt 9.6 from 9.1, Nash 11.2 from 10.7, Martin 11.4 from 10.9, Wilson 12.2 from 11.6 and Halifax, 13.6 from 13.0.

Statewide, the number of workers employed (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in December by 58,847 to 4,262,359, while those unemployed rose 19,610 to 444,851. Since December 2011, the number of workers unemployed decreased 29,895, while those employed increased 93,514.

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Arthur Rich, left, Republican candidate for District 1 Congressional seat, Alan Mizzell, N.C. District 3 Senate candidate and Brenda Cleary, District 13 Congressional candidate, are three of the 20 candidates who attended the Edgecombe County Human Relations Commission’s Meet the Candidate Forum Tuesday night at the Edgecombe County Administration Building Auditorium.

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