More than 492,000 people in our state are out of work. The state jobless rate has risen to 10.8 percent, up from 10.7 percent in February, which was already the highest rate in recorded history. Across the state, the number of people out of work continues to rise. For the past six months, the state unemployment number has steadily jumped pass the national average, which was 8.5 percent. When it comes to our part of the state, most local counties’ unemployment numbers are higher than even the state average of 10.8 percent. New Hanover is the only county below the state average. That means more people are looking to the Employment Security Commission for assistance, like David Oldfield, who was recently laid off. “Coming in here not knowing if I would get anything, I’ll be walking out knowing I’ll be getting this much money per week and that's good." Until things do turn around, David Oldfield is hoping for the best. “I'll just go out, look for a new job and try to get myself back on my feet." The process of filling out a claim for unemployment benefits takes about an hour. You can either submit your claim in person, over the phone or online. It takes about two weeks for approval to receive benefits.
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