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Fewer people out of work

There is some good news on the unemployment front. The March numbers are out and unemployment rates decreased in every county in our viewing area. Unemployment in Bladen County decreased the most, from about 14 percent to 12 percent Brunswick and Columbus counties dropped by about 1%. In Pender, it went down .7%, and New Hanover .4%. “We went from 9.7 last month to 9.3 from February to March which is typical for this time of year, but we're still about double what we were last year,” said Walker Biggs of the NHC Employment Security Commission. More good news; statewide unemployment decreased in 84 of 100 North Carolina counties.

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These numbers do not mean that people are finding work, only that their unemployment benefits have run out. When the Employment and Security Commission cuts them off, they stop counting them -- creating the illusion of an improving unemployment situation.