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North Carolina jobless picture improving

RALEIGH — Unemployment rates for most counties are down from June to July, with the only county that didn’t decrease seeing no change at all.

Rowan County saw a 0.3% decrease in unemployment numbers from June to July and a 5.1% decrease from July of last year to this year. This decrease puts Rowan County at a 4.7% unemployment rate for July. Of the roughly 66,000 labor force of Rowan County, about 3,000 are unemployed, which places Rowan at 55th of the state’s 100 counties.

“The latest unemployment numbers give us reasons for optimism. Our unemployment rates have dropped consistently over the past 10 months, reflecting an increase in business activity in Rowan County and efforts to get people back to work,” said Jay Garneau, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Rowan Economic and Development Council.

With the new variants of COVID-19, concerns of another shutdown are still present. According to Garneau, businesses have spent the past 18 months adapting to COVID-19 with increased safety measures and practicing remote work. With these precautions in place, businesses are still actively hiring despite the recent surge in the Delta variant.

“One of the biggest reasons that the unemployment rate has stayed low is the success of COVID vaccines in preventing serious illness and allowing businesses to resume more typical schedules,” said Garneau. “More widespread vaccinations will not only keep people healthier, but also make it easier for people to return to work, and therefore increase overall economic activity.”

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in July by 26,529 to 4.81 million, while those unemployed decreased by 15,020 to 232,409. Since July 2020, the number of workers employed statewide increased by 300,560, while those unemployed decreased by 228,345.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

Yadkin County saw the largest change over the month with a .07% decrease in unemployment numbers. Buncombe County had the largest change from July of last year with a 6.7% decrease in unemployment numbers.

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