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unemployment300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 6:02pm.

These are busy times for job hunters. No matter how you cut it, unemployment numbers are going in the wrong direction. Brunswick County 10.8 - Up six-tenths from April Pender County 11.2 - Up three-tenths New Hanover County 9.4 - Up six-tenths. The metro average for the three counties - ten percent; that is up half a point. That's below the state average, but not Columbus County which was unchanged at 13 percent. Bladen County was up half a point to 12.3. State employment security offices have been busy. Extended unemployment benefits have taken some of the worst pressure off job hunters in a tight market and there are signs of a recovery on the horizon. That said, the numbers may get worse as several announced closings, like the Coty facility in Rocky Point unfold. Walker Biggs said his agency is working with community colleges to focus on re-training. Some of the jobs that have gone away simply won't be coming back. Those workers need to be ready to step into new fields like health care and high tech.

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