State Releases County Unemployment Rates for February

The North Carolina Employment Security Commission released its county unemployment data for February today, the News and Record reported.

As you might have guessed, joblessness remains high across North Carolina.  As the chart above indicates, most county unemployment rates in the state fall in the 10.1-14.0% range (59 counties).  Guilford County’s February rate, which was unchanged from January at 11.8%, falls close to the middle of this range.  All regions of North Carolina are well represented in this large group.

However, over one-quarter of the state’s counties (27) have rates over 14.1%, and well over half of these (17) are concentrated in the western mountain and western piedmont sections.  These especially hard-hit counties include:  Alexander (14.5%), Alleghany (15.3%), Ashe (16.2%), Burke (15.6%), Caldwell (17.6%), Catawba (15.3%), Cherokee (16.8%), Cleveland (15.5%), Gaston (14.5%), Graham (19.4%), Lincoln (14.7%), McDowell (16.0%), Mitchell (14.4%), Rutherford (17.9%), Swain (17.6%), Wilkes (14.6%), and Yancey (14.5%). 

Many of these western and western piedmont counties had suffered from declining manufacturing, e.g., textiles, even before the Financial Crisis of 2008, but it is perhaps also significant that none of these counties benefit from the presence of a state university.  In fact, the western piedmont is one of the few contiguous regions in North Carolina which lacks a state university.     

The correlation between the presence of institutions of higher education and low or at least lower unemployment is also evidenced among the fourteen counties which come in with less than 10% jobless rates.  Those counties which have been most resilient to the impact of the recession upon employment include the Research Triangle’s Orange (6.9%), Durham (8.5%), and Wake (9.2%), as well as Buncombe (9.7%) and Watauga (9.4%).  Of course, all of these counties include significant state and/or private universities and colleges.

If you’re out-of-work and looking for a job, please remember Greensboro Public Library’s Job and Career Information page.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: