MEDIA RELEASE: Unemployment drops in 82 of North Carolina's counties

 Unemployment drops in 82 of North Carolina's counties

Joblessness persistent in some parts of North Carolina, highlighting the need for targeted jobs programs

RALEIGH (Sep. 24, 2010) – From July to August, unemployment rates increased in 10 of North Carolina's counties, remained in the same in 8 and declined in 82 counties, according to data released this morning by the state Employment Security Commission.

Among those experiencing an increase from July 2010 to August 2010 were Chowan, Hoke, Hyde and Person counties.

Those counties with the highest unemployment rates—Scotland, Rutherford, Edgecombe, Graham, Cherokee, Burke and Caldwell—did not see their unemployment rates increase further, although they remained the highest in the state.

The persistence of high unemployment rates in certain communities of the state suggest that we need a targeted approach to creating jobs locally in these areas,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, policy analyst with the NC Justice Center's Budget & Tax Center.

Among metro areas the Triangle continued to experience the lowest unemployment rates (Durham/Chapel Hill was 7.3 percent while Raleigh/Cary was 8.2%). Rocky Mount and Hickory continued to experience the highest metro poverty rates at 12.7 and 12.6 percent respectively.

With persistent joblessness and poverty in some pockets of the state, more action from state leaders is needed. Policies such as wage subsidies and local hiring initiatives should be part of the discussion, said Sirota.

As the state release last week demonstrated, the continued number of workers leaving the labor force will continue to put pressure on the unemployment rate,” she said. “This suggests that North Carolina could continue to experience increases in the unemployment rate through the rest of 2010 and into 2011.”

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

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