Stanly’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at roughly 5 percent

Stanly County’s unemployment rate remained at roughly 5 percent for January, the same as the past few months, according to new county-specific data from the state’s Department of Commerce, which was released March 19.

Stanly had 1,566 unemployed in January, which translates to a 5.2 percent unemployment rate; the rate in December was 5.4 percent, with 1,576 people without jobs.

Stanly’s rate is better than both the state (5.9 percent) and national rates (6.3 percent).

There were around 840 less people employed in January (29,878) than the previous month (30,7171).

After the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 10 percent in May of last year, it eventually decreased to 5.5 percent in August. Since then though, the rate has remained more or less the same.

Stanly’s rate is about 1.6 percentage points worse when compared to January of last year, when the rate was 3.6 percent.

Stanly was one of 62 counties in the state that saw its rate decrease over the past month. The unemployment rates increased in 25 counties and remained unchanged in 13. The overwhelming majority of counties (89) have rates between 5 and 10 percent, while only nine counties have rates below or at 5 percent. Only two counties, Scotland and Dare, have a rate higher than 10 percent.

Stanly’s unemployment rate continues to match up favorably against the rest of the state, ranking 18th out of the 100 counties, down from 13th the prior month, and is lower than every nearby county in the Charlotte metropolitan region, except Union, which was at 4.8 percent.

In the state’s list of unemployment rates for micropolitan areas across North Carolina — geographic areas focused on an urban cluster with a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 — Albemarle also came in at 5.2 percent.

Stanly County Economic Development Director Candice Lowder said she remains optimistic that “recovery will continue as restrictions are lifted and we continue to work toward pre-pandemic operations and lifestyles.”

The state’s seasonally adjusted January unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, declining 0.2 points from December’s revised rate. The number of people employed in N.C. increased 9,882 over the month to more than 4.7 million.

The federal employment rate was 6.3 percent, declining 0.4 points from December’s rate while the economy added 49,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Almost 57,000 North Carolinians filed COVID-19 related initial claims in January, on par with the roughly 55,000 who filed in December. Almost 3.5 million claims have been filed in the state since March 15, 2020.

Stanly County had 250 people file COVID-19 related initial unemployment insurance claims (out of 437 total initial claims) in January, a slight decrease from the 250 who filed COVID-19 claims the month before. There are 241 continued COVID-19 related claims for the month.

As in past months, the people who filed the claims in Stanly continue to be 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 were unclassified/unknown with 112 claims, manufacturing with 60 claims and professional and business services with 57 claims.