Robeson County saw an improvement in its unemployment rate in August, according to figures released today by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

The county has seen an improvement in the period since May 2020, when it peaked at 13.2% at the height of job losses linked to the pandemic.

This trend showing the rate of skilled people looking for work has generally followed unemployment trends statewide.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) fell in 93 of North Carolina’s counties in August, rose in two and remained unchanged in five, according to a statement released today (Wednesday).

Neighboring Scotland had the highest unemployment rate at 8.7%, while Chatham, Avery, Ashe and Orange counties each had the lowest at 3.4%, officials said.

“All 15 metropolitan areas in the state have seen rate cuts,” according to Wednesday’s report. “Among metropolitan areas, Fayetteville and Rocky Mount each had the highest rate at 6.4%, while Durham-Chapel Hill and Raleigh each had the lowest at 3.7%.”

Statewide, August’s unadjusted rate was 4.4%.

Compared with the same month last year, unemployment rates in all 100 counties have shown consistent declines. Additionally, the state’s 15 metropolitan areas have experienced rate cuts in the previous 12 months.

Robeson County had an unemployment rate of 6.9% with a labor force of 49,590 people. The July labor force showed very little change, dropping from 49,566 to 49,590 workers. This small change was reflected in the unemployment rate of 7.2 percent in July.

Wednesday’s state report noted that it is important to understand that employment estimates are subject to broad seasonal trends; therefore, it is advisable to focus on the changes during the year in the unadjusted estimates.

The main factor to take into account in year-to-year comparisons remains the pandemic and its impact on jobs in the region.

A year ago, in August, Robeson County’s unemployment rate was 9.2%, down from 11.9% the month before.

Neighboring counties showed similar percentage changes.

Bladen County fell from 6.9% in August 2020 to 5.2% in August 2021.

Columbus County posted an unemployment rate of 7.8% in 2020 and improved to 5.9% this year.

Cumberland County recorded an unemployment rate of 9.2% in August 2020 and has improved to 6.5% this year.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for October 22, 2021, when the state’s unemployment rate for September 2021 will be released, according to the report.

Contact David Kennard at [email protected]


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