Unemployment rate drops for fourth month


First Posted: 10/26/2009

Although still in double digits, the Surry County jobless rate declined for the fourth consecutive month in September, reaching its lowest point of the year.
According to figures released by the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, unemployment in Surry County was 11.8 percent in September, down from 12.2 percent in August.
Statewide, the jobless rate was 10.4 percent, down from 10.8 a month earlier.
Joblessness in the county reached a peak in March when the rate stood at 13.4 percent, and was as high as 13.1 percent in May, but has declined each month since then. Present trends, however, indicate the countys jobless rate will be in double figures for the year, the first time that has happened in at least two decades, according to figures supplied by the commission.
In actual numbers, 4,058 people were unemployed in Surry County in September, down from 4,190 in August and down from 4,617 as recently as May.
A year ago the rate was lower, but trending upward. The September 2008 jobless rate was 8.4 percent, with 2,857 people out of work. The September 2008 number was the second highest jobless rate of 2008 up to that point, but unlike this year the rate was still climbing.
The global and national recession continues to affect our state, said Security Commissions Chairman Moses Cary Jr. While 76 counties across North Carolina experienced an unemployment rate decrease, we must remember that most of these same counties remain at a high rate. Were encouraged by some recent job announcements.
Among those announcements was a recent one in which Central States Manufacturing Inc. broke ground at Mount Airys Piedmont Triad West Corporate Park at a facility it expects to employ 45 people.
City and county officials have also approved or are considering economic incentive packages for perspective industries which they say will add more than 220 new jobs to the local economic base.

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