Surry County’s jobless rate climbed half a percentage point in May, but officials with the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security (DES), which releases the monthly numbers, say the increase could be the result of people entering the job market looking for summer work.
“Over the month, the labor force in Surry County ticked up slightly by 629 people as more people entered the labor force looking for summer work,” said Larry Parker, DES public information officer. “This is typical this time of the year as students and others enter the labor force looking for that type of work.”
Surry County’s jobless rate climbed to 6.8 percent, up from the April rate of 6.3 percent, according to the DES. In May 2013, the county reported a jobless rate of 8.8 percent.
This year, the county reported a labor force of 32,023, with 2,183 people seeking work in May.
Parker said the county’s employed work force increased by 425, while the number of people unemployed increased by 204.
“This slight gain in the number of unemployed likely contributed to the half-percent increase,” Parker said. “Over the year, Surry County has lost nearly 1,000 people from the labor force. While the number of employed is down by just a little bit, the number of unemployed has decreased by 728 people. This has contributed to the rate decreasing by 1.5 percent since May 2013.
In May, Stokes County also saw an increase in its jobless rate, climbing six-tenths of a percent to 5.6 percent, the DES reported.
Stokes County reported a labor force of 23,531, with 1,329 looking for a work in May.
Yadkin County’s jobless rate also increased during May, according to the DES, climbing nearly a half-percent to 5.3 percent. Yadkin County reported a 4.9 percent jobless rate in April.
Wilkes County reported a six-tenth of a percent increase in its unemployment rate in May, climbing to 5.3 percent from the April rate of 4.9 percent.
The county reported a civilian labor force of 18,674, with 993 people seeking work in May.
Like the rest of the region, Alleghany County also reported an increase in its jobless rate, climbing nearly a full percentage point to 7.6 percent, according to the DES. In April, the county reported a 6.7 percent unemployment rate.
Statewide, Scotland County had the highest jobless rate in May, reporting a 12.7 percent rate. Carrituck County reported the lowest jobless rate at 4.6 percent.
The state reported a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 6.4 percent, increasing two-tenths of a percent from April’s rate of 6.4 percent, according to the DES.
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.