Scotland jobless rate steady at 10.5 percent

Staff report

LAURINBURG — Scotland County’s unemployment rate held steady in February from the previous month, according to the latest figures from the N.C. Department of Commerce.

Still at 10.5 percent, Scotland County’s rate remained one of the highest in the state. It is one of six counties with a rate of 10 percent or higher. According to the Commerce Department, there were about 1,243 people looking for work. Scotland County’s total workforce has about 11,856 people.

Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 15.3 percent. Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.4 percent. Statewide, the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.

The rate in surrounding counties were:Hoke County, 7.4 percent; Robeson, 8.2 percent; Moore County, 6.0 percent; and Richmond at 8.0 percent.

There were 10 counties statewide with unemployment rates five percent or below. There were 84 counties between five percent and 10 percent and six counties with a rate of 10 percent or higher.

Unemployment rates increased in 32 counties in February, while it decreased in 30 counties and remained unchanged in 38.

Three of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases and two decreased, 10 remained unchanged. Rocky Mount experienced the highest rate in the metro area at 8.1 percent.

The number of workers employed statewide increased to 4,541,913 in February. In a year from February 2015 until February 2016, the number of workers employed statewide increased 93,502. The number of those unemployed decreased 1,359.

Employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns so it is best to focus on over the year changes.March unemployment rates will be released on Friday.

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Staff report

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