Stanly’s October unemployment falls to roughly 5 percent

Published 2:21 pm Thursday, December 10, 2020

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Stanly County’s unemployment rate fell by half a percentage point in October, according to new county-specific data from the state’s Department of Commerce, which was released last week.

Stanly had 1,558 people unemployed in October, which translates to a 5.1 percent unemployment rate; the rate in September was 5.7 percent and 1,728 were without jobs.

There were 30,655 people with jobs in October, slightly higher than the 30,328 people employed the month prior.

The rate has gradually decreased since Stanly reached its peak of 10.2 percent in May. The county’s rate is about 1.5 percentage points worse when compared to October of last year, when the rate was 3.5 percent.

EDC Director Candice Lowder and Chris Lambert, executive director of Visit Stanly County, were both cautiously optimistic about the county’s economic outlook going forward.

“Consumer confidence is high with a strong commitment to shopping local.  The feeling is that confidence will remain high throughout the holiday season,” they said in a joint statement. “We hope citizens and tourist alike continue to support our small businesses so they can remain strong throughout the economic recovery.”

The unemployment rates decreased in all 100 North Carolina’s counties in October, after they increased in 95 counties in September. The overwhelming majority of counties (82) have rates between 5 and 10 percent, while only 17 counties have rates below at or 5 percent.

Stanly’s unemployment rate continues to match up favorably against the rest of the state, ranking 18th out of the 100 counties, the same as the prior month, and is lower than every nearby county in the Charlotte metropolitan region, except Union, which was at 4.9 percent.

In the state’s list of unemployment rates for micropolitan areas across North Carolina — these are geographic areas focused on an urban cluster with a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 — Albemarle came in at 5.1 percent.

North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment decreased to 6.3 percent from 87.25 percent in September, as the number of people on the job increased 79,754 over the month to 4,623,968 overall. The number of people jobless also decreased 41,542 over the month to 310,292.

The federal employment rate dropped to 6.9 percent from 7.9 percent and the economy added 638,000 million jobs, a slight decrease from the 661,000 million jobs added in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More than 48,000 North Carolinians filed COVID-19 related initial claims in July, a significant increase from the roughly 36,000 who filed in September. More than 2.8 million claims have been filed in the state since March 15.

The number of people in Stanly who filed initial claims increased for the month. The county had 225 people file COVID-19 related initial unemployment insurance claims (out of 362 total initial claims) in October compared to the 159 who filed COVID-19 claims in September. There are 347 continued COVID-19 related claims for the month.

Of the total numbers of initial claims that were filed, men filed 169 claims while women filed 148. Of those filing for unemployment, 192 were white and 88 were Black.

The people who filed the claims in Stanly were predominantly younger, with those ages 25 to 34, 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 accounting for the majority of all claims.

The industries most impacted by the pandemic in October were unknown/unclassified with 90 claims, manufacturing with 57 claims and trade, transportation and utilities with 44 claims.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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