WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- As leaders in Raleigh finish up their legislative session and the folks in Washington wrangle about the debt ceiling, jobs seem to be disappearing in southeastern North Carolina.
The newest numbers just released by the Employment Security Commission show the unemployment rate jumped in each of the five counties in our area from May to June. Unemployment in Bladen, Columbus and Pender Counties all increase by 1.1 points in June. Columbus is in the worst shape at 13 percent unemployment, following by Bladen at 12.5 percent and Pender at 11.0 percent.
New Hanover County saw the rate increase from 9.2 percent in May to 10.1 percent in June. Brunswick County saw the least increase up 0.4 to 10.4 percent. Brunswick is also the only of our five counties to see an unemployment rate lower than one year earlier.
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Overall unemployment increased in 91 of North Carolina's 100 counties with 46 counties at or below the state unemployment rate of 10.4 percent, including Brunswick and New Hanover.
"What we are seeing in most metropolitan areas across North Carolina is a loss in government employment," ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes said in a statement. "This is partially attributed to changes in local and state education at the end of the school year."