For the first time in at least five years, Anson County’s unemployment rate has dipped below 8 percent, according to numbers released Wednesday morning by the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division.
Anson’s unemployment rate dropped 0.6 percent from 8.3 percent in November 2013 to 7.7 percent for December. Of Anson’s workforce of 10,717, just 824 received unemployment benefits in December.
Statewide, there has been a downward trend in unemployment rates for the past few months. Unemployment rates decreased in 86 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in December, increased in 11 and remained the same in three. All of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. In addition, unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties, compared to the same time period last year.
All of Anson’s neighboring counties experienced decreases in unemployment rates in December 2013, as well. Richmond County’s 9.2 percent rate was down 0.4 percent from November, while Stanly’s unemployment dropped 0.5 percent to 6.2 percent, and Union County’s rate of 5.5 percent was also down 0.4 percent.
Scotland County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 12.6 percent, while Orange County had the lowest at 4.1 percent.
The number of workers employed statewide decreased in December by 32,140 to 4,315,366, while those unemployed also decreased by 17,561 to 305,196. Since December 2012, the number of workers employed statewide increased 29,050, while those unemployed decreased 140,214.
The next unemployment numbers will be released on March 17, when the statewide rate for January will be reported.