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Jobless rate climbs in 24 of 26 Charlotte-area counties

The apparent slowdown in North Carolina’s economic recovery was felt more in the Charlotte region than elsewhere in the state, according to figures released Tuesday by the N.C. Employment Security Commission.

June unemployment numbers showed the jobless rate increased in 24 of 26 counties in the Charlotte region.

And figures from the S.C. Employment Security Commission showed the jobless rate climbed in five of six Palmetto State counties near Charlotte.

But Mark Vitner, a senior economist with Wells Fargo, said while Mecklenburg’s unemployment rate remains high, it’s common to see the figure tick up from May to June. That’s when students, teachers and other job seekers flood the labor force looking for summer work.

Factoring in such changes during the summer months, he said unemployment for the Charlotte metro area actually fell in June to 8.9 percent – down from his seasonally adjusted May rate of 9.1 percent.

The only county in the region to show a decrease in June, compared to May, was York County, S.C. York’s unemployment rate fell from 9.7 percent in May to 9.2 percent in June. Montgomery County’s unemployment rate remained the same at 10.2 percent.

While unemployment increased across North Carolina in June, compared to May, the problem seemed to be worse in the Charlotte region.

Statewide, the unemployment rate climbed 0.4 percent, from 8.9 to 9.3 percent. But the increase was more than 0.4 percent in 10 counties around Charlotte – including a 1.1 percent spike in Anson County.

Vitner said the 9 percent jobless rate is a sign that economic growth is slowing.

Mecklenburg County’s rate climbed from 8.9 to 9.4 percent between May and June, a bit more than the average state increase. The rate represented a decline from June 2012, when it stood at 9.8 percent.

The highest June figure in the Charlotte region was 12.7 percent in Rutherford County. The lowest was Union County’s 8 percent figure. But Union County’s rate climbed 0.5 percent from May to June.

The state’s lowest figure was 5.8 percent in coastal Currituck County. The highest rate, 16.2 percent, was in Scotland County.

South Carolina’s unemployment rose only 0.1 percent in June. The highest rate was 16.3 percent in Marion County. The lowest, 6.9 percent, was in Lexington County.

Staff writer Caitlin McCabe contributed

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