Unemployment soars in Rowan
By Mark Wineka
Unemployment in Rowan County, reflecting what’s happening throughout the state, shot up to 8.6 percent in November.
The jobless rate in Davidson County rose to 9.3 percent for November. In Stanly County, it was 8.8 percent.
Companies here and statewide continued to close or lay off workers as the economy worsened.
In November, Hanesbrands Inc., a yarn producer in China Grove, announced it was closing, costing 185 jobs. Ingersoll-Rand Co., which makes air compressors in Mocksville, announced that 110 people would be laid off.
The plant has always had a strong employment base from Rowan County.
Another big operation, Kohler Co. in Statesville, closed in December, erasing 552 total jobs ó some of them representing Rowan Countians. The company manufactured kitchen cabinets.
The region as a whole has been affected by cutbacks among NASCAR race teams. In November, cutbacks, consolidations and mergers cost hundreds of NASCAR-related jobs in the area.
In Cabarrus County, Woods Brothers JTG Racing in Harrisburg, Furniture Row Racing in Concord and Rousch Fenway Racing in Concord announced November layoffs.
In Mooresville (Iredell County), Dale Earnhardt Inc. cut 115 jobs and Petty Enterprises LLC chopped 30 positions.
Hall of Fame Racing and Hendrick Motorsports Inc., both of Charlotte, cut jobs.
Job losses in the furniture industry continued to affect Davidson County. Thomasville Furniture Industries, a furniture outlet, announced in November it would close.
ASMO, which had a plant that produced window motors in Thomasville, announced in November it would be closing this month, affecting 107 employees.
The Employment Security Commission of North Carolina released November jobless figures Tuesday. The statewide unemployment rate for November was 7.8 percent, up a full point from October.
Jobless rates in all 100 counties went up in November.
Rowan County’s unemployment rate rose from 7.4 percent in October to 8.6 percent for November.
Rowan had a labor force of 73,251 in the month, of which 6,291 people were unemployed, according to the ESC.
Here were the unemployment rates in November for the counties touching Rowan County and their increase since October:
– Cabarrus County, 7.6 percent unemployed, up from 6.7 percent.
– Davidson County, 9.3 percent, up from 8.1 percent.
– Davie County, 8 percent, up from 7.4 percent.
– Iredell County, 8.1 percent, up from 7 percent.
– Stanly County, 8.8 percent, up from 7.4 percent.
The state employment office said it had 64 reported closings in November and 52 different businesses with layoffs.
Edgecombe County had the state’s highest jobless rate of 13.3 percent because of job losses in manufacturing and services sectors.
North Carolina had 17 counties with jobless rates at 10 percent or more.
“Manufacturing, retail trade and service sectors have been hit hard during this national and worldwide economic slump,” ESC Chairman Harry Payne Jr. said in as press release. “Retail trade was down because many employers did not take on more workers during the holiday season as they have in the past.
“Also, textile and furniture manufacturing continue to struggle in the global economy.”