WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The latest unemployment numbers show a worsening jobs situation across the Cape Fear. All five of the counties in our area saw an increase in the unemployment rate between December and January. According to new numbers from the Department of Commerce's Labor & Economic Analysis Division the unemployment rate in the Wilmington area was 11.3 percent in January. That's 0.7 points higher than December, as well as one year earlier.
Columbus County saw the biggest increase in our five-county area. The rate there grew from 12.9 percent in December to 14.3 percent in January. That's the 12th highest rate in the entire state.
Brunswick County was also up more than one percentage point from 11.9 to 13.0.
The Department of Commerce says seasonal factors contributed to an increase in county unemployment rates in January. Rates increased in 95 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, decreased in three counties and remained the same in two counties.
The unemployment rate in Bladen, New Hanover and Pender counties all increased 0.7 points. Only New Hanover, at 10.4 percent, is below the statewide rate of 10.5 percent.