The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 4, 2013

Staffing manager remains optimistic about job prospects

By Justin Jones, Staff Writer

Friday, January 3, 2013 — By the time 2012 rolled around marking an election year, a renewed focus was placed on the unemployment statistics for each state and each county.

The January 2012 release of the December 2011 numbers showed that North Carolina had a 10.4 percent unemployment rate, while nationally, the U.S. overall had a 8.5 percent unemployment rate, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

Within the 10.4 percent rate in North Carolina during December of 2011, Stanly County had a 10.3 percent unemployment rate.

Fast forwarding to the latest release which breaks down the numbers by county, Stanly County had more people employed by October than the year before, and the rate had decreased to 9.0 percent.

As for the state, the latest release in December that revealed November’s statistics showed that North Carolina had a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, better than the 10.2 rate the state held at the beginning of the year.

According to Donnie Mann, manager of the Division of Workforce Solutions in Albemarle, the information and data he and his staff receive show that there has been little changes in what jobs have become available.

“We can’t identify (growth) in any particular area,” Mann said.

“We’ve seen slight increase in openings and hope that continues.”

Mann said that some manufacturing and service jobs have risen over the past year but not enough to depict a trend.

Without one area that seems to be taking off in a positive direction, Mann said that job seekers should continue to apply for jobs, even if they feel discouraged.

 “Just stay with it, and don’t give up,” he said.

“They may want to consider retraining — possibly through community colleges to pick up skills in other areas that would increase their opportunities.”

If job seekers are looking into what areas have seen growth as given by the Department of Commerce (DOC), trade, transportation and utilities gained the most jobs throughout November. Professional and business services, education and health service and leisure and hospitality services also gained more than 4,000 jobs in November, according to the DOC survey.