Jobless rate ignores those who no longer seek work
NOR’EASTER N.C. — The jobless rate in North Carolina has decreased overall from a year ago. In Pasquotank County the unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in June of this year, down from 11.2 percent in January 2013, but up compared to the pre-recession 6.4 percent rate in October 2008.
In Perquimans County the unemployment rate in June was 7.6 percent down from 11.1 percent in January 2013 but up from October 2008 when it was 6.7 percent.
The county in our area that has had the best unemployment record is Currituck County with 5.7 percent in June down from 10.5 percent in January 2013 but up from a 3.6 percent rate in 2008.
The statistics show that the local area is doing somewhat better but that we have a long way to go to achieve positive economic growth and job improvement.
You will recall the debate earlier this year, in the legislature, about the different approach by the House and Senate on how to grow employment in this state. The House was in favor of providing tax incentives to lure employers to our area, particularly an auto manufacturing plant.
The Senate on the other hand proposed that lower taxes, better education and good municipal infrastructure were the correct methods to get companies to relocate businesses to our area. Regrettably, however, there has been no meaningful economic development in our area that would stimulate job growth and economic activity.
This is not to say that the addition of AR Textiles in Martin County and their 38 jobs are not important, but we need a great deal more than that to improve the job numbers in this area.
Jimbo’s Jumbos is building a large facility in Edenton, and that will help as well, but the bottom line of the debate between the House and Senate has not resolved the unemployment issue in this area.
As the cost of government continues to grow, rather than cut spending, County Commissioners throughout the region are looking toward alternative energy sources such as solar farms and wind farms to pay the property taxes that are necessary to fuel these increased cost, year-over-year.
In Chowan County, the Commissioners there have attempted to circumvent the interests of citizens, allowing the construction of industrial windmills. In Perquimans County, citizens are beginning to rise up and speak to their commissioners about the negative effects of wind energy development, while in Pasquotank County, Iberdrola continues its plans to begin construction of a massive wind energy facility on 2000 acres while collecting millions upon millions from taxpayers.