Vance jobless rate remains third-worst in state

Vance County’s jobless rate was worse in June than in May, better than a year earlier but almost unchanged relative to the rest of the state.

Statistics released Friday by the state Employment Security Commission show that Vance had North Carolina’s third-highest unemployment rate in June at 9.3 percent, behind Scotland County at 10.7 percent and Wilson County at 9.4 percent.

All three counties were worse in June than in May, as were 95 of 100 North Carolina counties. The county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted, so they reflect predictable monthly changes such as the end of the school year putting many people with education-related jobs, as well as many students, out of work.

Vance saw a decline in the work force in June from 19,009 to 18,835, but the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose from 1,636 to 1,760. That accounted for the rise in the jobless rate from 8.6 percent to 9.3 percent.

Vance’s 8.6 percent rate in May also put the county in third place, behind Scotland at 9.4 percent and Wilson at 9.0. So although the numbers changed, the top three in unemployment stayed the same.

If you look back a year to June 2004 (as the ESC, faced with 95 counties worse off than in the previous month, is urging people to do), Vance is in a stronger jobs position now than in June 2004. Then, the jobless rate in Vance was 10.8 percent of a work force of 18,808, meaning that 2,035 Vance residents were collecting unemployment checks.

That 10.8 percent jobless rate would be the worst in the state now, but in June 2004 it was only No. 2 — behind Scotland County. Wilson County was third.

Elsewhere last month, the jobless rate rose from May’s 6.7 percent to 7.4 percent in Warren County and from May’s 5.8 percent to 6.4 percent in Granville.

Dare and Currituck counties had the lowest jobless rate at 2.9 percent. The statewide non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June was 5.5 percent.