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Mecklenburg jobless rate rises as newcomers enter workforce / August 09, 2017

For the second straight month, the unemployment rate worsened in Mecklenburg County even though more people reported having jobs during the period.

The local jobless figure rose to 5.2 percent in June, compared to 5.0 percent in May, as the labor force grew faster than the number of available positions. Mecklenburg County’s civilian labor force reached 12,628, and the number of employed workers climbed to 11,976, according to the Virginia Employment Commission, which released its latest local jobs report this week.

But along with the slight uptick in overall employment, the ranks of the jobless also increased — from 622 idle workers in May to 652 in June.

Mecklenburg added nearly 200 jobs in the month-to-month period — 11,976 in June, compared to 11,791 in May. Newcomers also entered the workforce, which expanded to 12,628 in June compared to 12,413 in May. The growth in the labor force is typical in June as schools let out and students and others seek summer employment.

Overall, Mecklenburg’s employment situation has improved since last year. In June 2016, the local jobless rate was 5.7 percent, half a point higher than the current rate. The county had 235 fewer jobs and 241 fewer workers in the labor pool at the same time last year.

Elsewhere in Southside Virginia,

» Halifax County’s jobless rate in June rose to 5.4 percent, up from 5.0 percent the month before, as the number of new workers exceeded the 121 jobs that were added since May.

» In Charlotte County, unemployment also rose, from 5.0 percent in May to 5.2 percent in June.

» Lunenburg County’s jobless rate climbed from 4.3 percent in May to 4.6 percent in June. Brunswick, which saw the least change, posted a 5.5 percent unemployment rate in June, compared to 5.4 percent in May.

Across Virginia, the unemployment rate rose from 3.8 percent in May to 3.9 percent in June. In June 2016, the state’s jobless rate stood at 4.2 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate jumped to 4.5 percent in June from 4.1 percent in May. Last June, the national rate stood higher at 5.1 percent.

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