Jobless rate up, but money Rowan receives for benefits drops nearly 27 percent

Rowan was among 30 counties in the state that saw a rise in the unemployment rate in October, according to a monthly report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

While joblessness went up, though, the amount of money received locally in unemployment benefits dropped by nearly 27 percent.

Rowan’s October unemployment rate was 8 percent, up from 7.7 percent in September.

Statewide, the jobless rate decreased slightly, from 8.3 percent to 8 percent, seasonally adjusted.

The amount the state is paying for unemployment benefits has been falling, in part because of job growth but also as a result of changes the legislature made. The General Assembly cut the maximum weekly benefit from $535 to $350 and curtailed the number of weeks a person may receive benefits.

Regular unemployment benefits paid to Rowan residents fell nearly 27 percent, from $1.2 million in September to $881,000 in October, according to the Division of Employment Security.

Statewide, $63.8 million in unemployment benefits went out in October, down 20.6 percent from September’s $80.4 million and 70.5 percent from the $216.3 million of October 2012.

A year ago, Rowan’s unemployment rate was 10.3 percent. The October rate of 8 percent ranks 52nd among the state’s 100 counties, with a county workforce of 68,694 and 5,479 unemployed.

Counties surrounding Rowan saw their unemployment rate remain flat or decline slightly.

• Cabarrus County, ranking 21st in the state, saw its rate dip slightly from 6.9 percent to 6.8 percent, compared to 8.4 percent a year ago. It has a workforce of 93,017 with 6,321 unemployed.

• Davie County, ranking, 33rd, saw its rate go down from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent, compared to 9.1 percent a year ago. Its workforce is 20,715, with 1,508 unemployed.

• Davidson County, ranking 53rd, had its rate remain flat at 8 percent, compared to 9.8 percent a year ago. It has 77,398 workers and 6,190 unemployed.

• Iredell County, ranked 38th, stayed steady at 7.5 percent, compared to 9.6 percent a year ago. It has a workforce of 81,528 and 6,121 unemployed.

• Stanly County, ranked 32nd, stayed steady at 7.3 percent, compared to 9.2 percent a year ago. It has 30,309 workers and 2,202 unemployed.

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