Our View: Unemployment figures bring hope to county?
On Tuesday, the North Carolina Division of Employment Security Commission released its data for unemployment in October.
The county figures reflected more good news for Rutherford County.
For yet another month, the county’s unemployment rate decreased from 12.5 percent in September to 12.3 percent in October.
While the decrease might appear to be slight, the news is still good for Rutherford County and, indeed, the state of North Carolina.
The DES reported that unemployment declined in 76 counties during the month and that 98 of the 100 counties in the state had seen over-the-year decreases.
For Rutherford County, this time last year, we were set at 14.6 percent unemployment.
Using standard math skills, that means that the unemployment has dropped 2.3 percent over the last year.
Major metropolitan areas of the state, with the exception of Morganton-Lenoir-Hickory, the unemployment rate is below 10 percent.
While Rutherford County still ranks in the top five in high unemployment rates, the news indicates that there is a downward trend.
A goal for the county has to be to get out of that top five ranking in the coming months to show that real progress is being made.
Now, everyone can decide what to attribute the new numbers to.
Whether it is not counting those that have come off unemployment assistance in the work force or whether it is truly that more hiring is occurring in the county, the fact remains that fewer people in the county are out of work.
And, with the prospects of Horsehead and Valley Fine Foods coming on-line in the coming months, there is the hope that the number will only get smaller.
With the holiday season coming around and consumer confidence showing signs of increasing, we also hope that means local businesses and other entities will increase their hiring and put more people in Rutherford County to work.
As the new year approaches and the prospect of new businesses opening their doors to Rutherford County workers, we believe that the news from Tuesday is a light at the end of the economic tunnel.
And, as the Rutherford County Economic Development Commission continues its work to generate and follow potential leads for new businesses, it can only mean that there is more good news to come.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark