The news is not good on the unemployment front. The Wilmington area jobless rate rose in February nearly one point from January. The Wilmington metropolitan area sits at 10.8 percent, up from 9.9 percent. That number represents the average jobless rate in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. Here is the county breakdown: Bladen and Columbus counties are faring the worst, with unemployment rates exceeding 13 percent. Pender and Brunswick are not far behind. New Hanover County is up nearly a full point since last month, at 9.7 percent.
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