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Local unemployment more than point higher than nation

READ MORE: Local unemployment more than point higher than nation
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The October national jobs report released today shows more than 170,000 jobs were added to the economy last month. So why is our local unemployment office as crowded as ever?

The last look at hiring before Tuesday's election shows a mixed picture. While employers added 171,000 new jobs nationally, the unemployment rate creeped up in October to 7.9 percent. More people are now actively searching for work and being counted, including here locally.

"My last real job was working as an insurance consultant here in town," job seeker Shawna McCord said. "Without a house, people don't need homeowners insurance, so our market kind of declined, and so did job openings."

One group especially feeling the sting of high unemployment is young people.

"With the Baby Boomer age, they're looking for jobs, too," job seeker Jazmyn Johnson-Alston said. "They're more experienced, so they're knocking us as young folk out already."

With Election Day almost here, job seekers we spoke with were skeptical that the outcome would have any bearing on employment.

"Hope? Definitely. Do I think that there will be an immediate change? Nope," McCord said.

But even though they're hesitant, many remain optimistic.

"I'm not pro or con anybody," Johnson-Alston said. "I'm just open-minded to who's going to help change the economy. I'm a very optimistic person so I look for the good in everything honestly."

The state released county unemployment rates today for September. All five of our area counties were down for the month. But overall Unemployment in the Wilmington Metro area is well above the national average at 9.3 percent.

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171,000 jobs added...

and new claims for unemployment were 170,000. Net gain: negligible.