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Unemployment edges upward as more people look for work

SALISBURY — More people in Rowan County had a job in October.
The number of people employed in the county last month was 66,324, up from 65,566 in September, an increase of 758 workers.
Rowan’s unemployment rate went up slightly in October from 9.3 percent to 9.9 percent because there were roughly 1,400 more people in the labor force.
“Seeing more people in the force can be a sign that people who may have been not actively looking for work may now believe there is an opportunity for them,” said Robert Van Geons, executive director for RowanWorks Economic Development Commission.
One year ago, Rowan’s unemployment rate was 11.3 percent, or 1.4 percent higher.
The top three service-related employers in Rowan County are Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Food Lion and the Hefner VA Medical Center.
The top three manufacturing and distribution employers in the county are Daimler Trucks Freightliner plant, Magna Composites and Performance Fibers.
Rowan was one of 16 counties in North Carolina where the unemployment rate increased in October. The rate fell in 76 counties in October and was unchanged in eight.
When compared to the same month last year, unemployment rates declined in 98 counties.
North Carolina had 39 counties that were at or below the state’s unemployment rate for October of 8.8 percent. Unemployment rates decreased in all 14 of the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Currituck County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in October at 5.5 percent, and Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 15.7 percent.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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