Joblessness still high, but there is reason for hope

First Posted: 10/26/2009

Today brings good news on the jobless front.
According to the North Carolina Security Commission of North Carolina, the jobless rate in Surry County has dropped by a not insignificant margin over the past four months. In May, that figure was 13.1 percent, meaning more than 4,600 county residents were out of work. In September, the most recent month for which figures are available, the mark was at 11.8 percent, meaning 4,058 local residents were receiving jobless benefits.
That percentage is certainly too high, and if it were to remain at that rate for the long term, the idea of a healthy and prosperous community would be little more than a fantasy.
But it is telling that the September figures show more than 500 county residents have found some sort of employment that takes them off of the jobless rolls and into the work force. It is even more telling, and certainly a sign of hope, that the figure has declined over four consecutive months.
This shows that the local economy may very well be emerging from the recession, with a few new jobs here, some more there, at existing businesses. Combined with recent and hoped-for economic development announcements in the city and county, and there seems to be good reason for hope in the local economy.

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