Rowan jobless rate jumped in July

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Reflecting a statewide trend, Rowan County’s jobless rate took a dramatic jump in July to 7.9 percent.
The county’s unemployment rate in June had been 6.3 percent.
In North Carolina, the number of people searching for jobs went up by roughly 44,500 from June to July ó the largest one-month increase in the past 25 years.
“Much of the increase (in unemployment) is attributed to the significant number of people entering and reentering the labor force, which could be a sign that workers believe jobs are out there and they are actively looking,” said Harry Payne Jr., chairman of the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina.
North Carolina’s overall jobless rate increased from 6.2 percent to 6.8 percent.
In a press release, Payne said the state was encouraged “by the large number of workers, 31,435, who found employment in July.”
The jobless rate also rose significantly in July for the counties around Rowan:
– Cabarrus County ó 6.4 percent, up from 5.7 percent in June.
– Davidson County ó 7.8 percent, up from 6.7 percent.
– Davie County ó 7.1 percent, up from 5.9 percent.
– Iredell County ó 6.7 percent, up from 5.8 percent.
– Stanly County ó 6.8 percent, up from 6.1 percent.
In July, unemployment rates increased in 97 of the state’s 100 counties.
According to the Employment Security Commission, Rowan County had a July labor force of 71,417 people, of which 5,661 were unemployed.
July’s jobless number was 1,181 more than June, 1,528 more than May and 2,016 more than April.
High school and college graduates entering the job market in the summer often affect the unemployment rate because they increase the number of people in the labor force.
Last August, Rowan County’s jobless rate was 6.3 percent. The county’s unemployment number was as low as 5.2 percent in April.
Freightliner, whose Cleveland truck plant is one of the counties largest employers, could ease the jobless numbers in September because of the reestablishment of the plant’s second shift and the recall of about 650 workers.
The Employment Security Commission says North Carolina’s unemployment has increased by 92,358 people since this time last year. But the labor force also has increased by 95,153 people.
The state’s unemployment rate in July 2007 was 4.7 percent.