Employment picture brightens

May 28, 2010 2:41:27 PM PDT
There were hopeful signs Friday that North Carolina is beginning to emerge from the job crisis. New county unemployment numbers show all but one county saw its unemployment rate drop last month.

That doesn't mean anyone who wants a job can find one.

"It's been kind of hard looking for jobs," job seeker Larry Daughty told ABC11 Friday.

Daughty has visited the Employment Security Commission often - looking for that job that will pay his bills.

"I'm looking for a forklift operating warehouse job, cook also," he explained.

He does have some prospects, and it looks like more workers in the Triangle do too. The unemployment rate has dropped steadily over the last couple of months - but by very little. New county numbers show a significant improvement.

Both the Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill area unemployment rates dropped by more than half a point. Raleigh sits at 8.3 percent - Durham at 7.2 percent.

Even Rocky Mount - which has seen some of the state's worst numbers - has seen an improvement. But the number is still at a high 13 percent.

It is encouraging. We expected a drop. The state rates that came out last week did signify that things are getting better in the state," explained Bonnie Mills with the Employment Security Commission.

Mills says new job notices are coming in.

"As of last Friday, we had 115 new job orders for a two week push that we had started," she said.

She also says there is a wide range of job openings - from blue to white collar.

"I've noticed that the construction jobs are starting to pick up in the computer system because new homes are starting to move," she said.

Larry Daughty says the new numbers are encouraging, but he is still hoping to go from part-time to full time worker.

"I'm out here every other day looking for a job," he said.

The ESC says more than half of North Carolina's counties still have unemployment rates above 10 percent, so there's a long way to go.

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