Thursday, December 1, 2022

Unemployment down from last year, still recovering from pandemic

The state’s latest unemployment map

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. —The latest county unemployment figures from the N.C. Department of Commerce, released Wednesday show the state and Cape Fear region are continuing to improve on figures from last year.  Since January, the rate has continued to decline compared to the previous year, though August has ticked up slightly from last month.

New Hanover is currently at 3.4%, with Pender tracking 3.6% and Brunswick at 4.8%. New Hanover and Pender’s rates increased by 0.2% from July, but Brunswick’s jumped significantly from 4.3% to 4.8%.

READ MORE: Unemployment down statewide, Wilmington area sees 4,000 new jobs

Brunswick is the only one of the three counties to still have a higher unemployment rate than the  state’s average in August  3.9%. No counties have unemployment rates over 10%.

There is some good news for the local counties, Brunswick included — each saw a significant drop in unemployment compared to August of 2021. The N.C. Department of Commerce report outlines the importance of looking at year-over-date changes because employment fluctuates with the season.

New Hanover had a 4.2% unemployment rate last August, Pender was 3.4% and Brunswick,4.8%. 

The Cape Fear area is not the only locale to show improvements. Every county in the state has a better unemployment rate than it did this time last year. The Wimington metropolitan area, as a whole, saw an improvement from 4.2% to 3.5% unemployment.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, August unemployment dropped in all 50 states compared to last year. A July report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics outlined why: employment is recovering from the pandemic.

By the numbers:

Unemployment by county

State: 3.9% in August, 3.7% in July and 4.8% in August of 2021

  • Brunswick: 4.8% in August, 4.3% in July and 5.8% in August of 2021
  • New Hanover: 3.4% in August, 3.2% in July and 4.2% in August of 2021
  • Pender: 3.6% in August, 3.4% in July and 4.3% in August of 2021

Labor force

State: 5,114,815 workers with 199,869 unemployed

  • Brunswick: 57,155 workers with 2,759 unemployed
  • New Hanover: 127,09 workers with 4,362 unemployed
  • Pender: 30,170 workers with 1,090 unemployed

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