The local area unemployment numbers for North Carolina were released on Friday (August 28). And, as we do every month in my office, we seasonally adjust the information. This process produces a little more optimistic look for the region than the information that was not seasonally adjusted, but these data by no means suggest that the hard times are over.
The release for July gives the unemployment rate for Edgecombe at 16.3 percent, while the rate for Nash county was 12.9 . When you seasonally adjust the data, the unemployment rates drop to 15.6 percent for Edgecombe and 11.9 percent for Nash. The rates dropped because unemployment typically goes up in July and because the loss was not as large as normal (probably because many of the jobs were lost during the prior year).
Obviously, the bad news is that the rates for the region continue to remain high and significantly above the rates found in 2008.
On a national and state scale, the “collective wisdom” suggests that the worst is over. Things are still bad and we are not out of the woods. We are simply beginning to climb off the bottom. And, the sooner the national and state climb off the bottom, the sooner we will see the tide rise in eastern North Carolina…..and the sooner we see announcements like the expected expansion at Sara Lee, the sooner will see the better health return to Edgecombe and Nash counties.