Jobless rate drops in Rowan, Cabarrus

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

SALISBURY — The unemployment rate declined in Rowan and 92 other counties throughout North Carolina in February, the state Employment Security Commission said today.
Rowan’s rate fell from 12 percent in January to 11.3 percent in February, according to statistics released by the state agency.
In Cabarrus, the jobless rate decreased from 10.8 percent to 10.3 percent. Thirty-six of the state’s 100 counties had unemployment rates below the state’s 10.1 percent rate.
“Gov. (Bev) Perdue has made creating jobs her top priority,” said Chairman Lynn R. Holmes, chairman of the Employment Security Commission. “The work of our economic development partners in sustaining and growing jobs along with the efforts of our workforce development partners in helping people get back to work continues to be our top priorities.”
The good news comes with some bad news for long-term unemployed people. Because the three-month average unemployment rate for December-February fellow below 110 percent of the average for the past two years, the state ended its extended benefits program.
That program offered up to 20 weeks of benefits to qualified people who had already exhausted their initial 26 weeks of unemployment pay and a federal program that allows up to 53 weeks of benefits.
The state will stop making payments under its extended benefits program April 16.
February unemployment rates in surrounding counties were: Davidson, 11.4 percent, down from 11.7 percent in January; Davie, 10.4 percent, unchanged; Iredell, 11.1 percent, down from 11.4 percent; 11 percent, down from 11.8 percent.