RALEIGH — Bladen County saw its unemployment rate drop to 10.5 in October for a decrease of 0.9 percent. That is down from a high of 11.4 percent in August. Just one year ago, the jobless rate was 12.7 percent in Bladen for a decrease of 2.2 percent over the year. Other counties in the area also saw decreases in their unemployment numbers for August. Both Columbus and Robeson counties reported decreases in their unemployment numbers. Columbus County saw its rate drop by 1.5 percent to 9.5 percent in October down from a high of 11.0 in August. The rate of change over the past year has been a decrease of 2.6 percent. Robeson County saw its unemployment rate drop by 0.8 percent to 11.2 percent. That follows a rate of 12.0 percent for August after inching upward in July to 13.3 percent following an increase to 13.0 percent in June. One year ago, Robeson County's unemployment rate was reported to be 12.5 percent. The rate of change over the past year is a decrease of 1.3 percent. All three counties remain above both the state and national unemployment rates for August. The state of North Carolina reported its rate to be 8.0percent in October. The U.S. unemployment rate decreased slightly to 7.3 percent for October. In October, Bladen County had 1,562 workers who were classified as unemployed and claimed a labor force of 14,838. Columbus County had 2,331 workers classified as unemployed. Robeson County had 6,124 workers classified as unemployed. Robeson County claimed a labor force of 54,885 and Columbus County claimed a labor force of 24,511. Statewide for the month of October, 85 counties reported an unemployment rate between 5 and 10 percent and 12 counties reported a rate of 10 percent of higher. Three counties reported an unemployment of 5 percent or less. Statewide for the month of September, 83 counties reported an unemployment rate between 5 and 10 percent and 14 counties reported a rate of 10 percent of higher. Three counties reported an unemployment of 5 percent or less. North Carolina had paid a total of $60 million in unemployment benefits and classified 61,125 individuals as unemployed for the month of October a decrease of 6,344 claimants since September. Regular Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance totaled 29,142 in October increasing 3,091 from September. State and federal unemployment programs have paid $1,969,146,391 in total unemployment benefits for the period November 2012 through October 2013. The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund balance at the end of June was in the red ($2,008,586,268). The State Reserve Fund balance was $40,134,142.