Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2007

Unemployment rise
cause for concern
The citizens who are fortunate enough to receive the Salisbury Post count on the information provided to be up-to-date and accurate. Many conclusions are formed based on this data.
On June 24, the Post printed information provided through the Chamber of Commerce on several economic indicators, including Rowan’s unemployment rate. Unfortunately, the chamber’s stated unemployment rate of 5 percent was not current and therefore does not paint an accurate picture of our county’s economic employment status.
The Centralina Workforce Development Board and our own Unemployment Security Commission have provided a much higher figure ó 7 percent unemployed. This current rate was known for a month prior to the Chamber’s update to the Post.
The difference of 2 percentage points, which is a 40 percent increase in the rate, represents hundreds of jobs lost for our citizens (mostly from Freightliner) who now face the unemployment line. This information makes a big difference in understanding Rowan County’s current economic health. Citizens should have this baseline data.
Commissioner Jon Barber and I, as liaisons to the Economic Development Commission, have agree to promote an economic development summit between the EDC and community to investigate the jobs soon lost at Freightliner, Phillip Morris and other high-value employers of Rowan’s citizens. Armed with the best available data, our community will move forward.
ó Tina Hall
Mount Ulla
Editor’s note:The unemployment figures published June 24 were part of a quarterly compilation of economic indicators for the period ending March 31.
Morris served county well
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff Morris for all he has accomplished for the citizens of Salisbury and Rowan County on the Social Services Board. You will be sorely missed.
What a wonderful world we live in when someone as loving and caring for people as Jeff is steps forward to give of his time and talent to ensure those that are less fortunate receive the safety and services they need. That’s just how he is, though. He’s plain spoken and will stand up to a Goliath if it means right and fair treatment for others.
He’s a truly wonderful man, citizen and, yes, I am extremely proud that he is my big bother!
ó Sgt. Jon Morris
Camp Bucca, Iraq