Unemployment rises slightly in some Eastern Carolina counties

Unemployment rises slightly in some Eastern Carolina counties
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 8:23 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - National unemployment rates skyrocketed to 14.8 percent during the pandemic. While it’s much lower now, new data shows progress still needs to be made, including here in Eastern Carolina.

“If you look at the new job numbers, the new private jobs added to the market, it has been kind of slow,” explained ECU Economics Professor Haiyong Liu. Counties like Pitt, Bertie and Martin are showing a tiny uptick in unemployment rates, based on the most recent available numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But Liu said that the rise doesn’t mean things aren’t improving overall.

“We definitely have recovered,” Liu said. But that recovery might not look the same for all applicants. “What’s more concerning is underneath that number, because the numbers are not evenly distributed among all walks of people. It favors certain types of occupation, it favors certain demographics.”

At temp agency Express Employment Professionals, things are still slower than they’d like to see.

“Prior to COVID, there were a lot more [jobs] at this time period,” explained Sharidyn Snow with Express Employment Professionals in Greenville.

But they’re optimistic that long-term trends will put them where they want to be.

“We’re starting to get more jobs coming in, more clients contacting us saying they need specific candidates coming in with different experience and stuff. We’re starting to see that increase, and we hope it just gets better and better from here on out,” explained Snow.

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