Bladen's unemployment was up two-tenths of a percent, from 6.9 percent in December to 7.1 percent in January. The statewide rate was up four-tenths of a percent. The rate went down in only six counties and remained stable in the other five.
Fifteen counties across the state had unemployment rates in excess of 10 percent in January. Hyde County had the state's highest unemployment for the month at 14.2 percent. Watauga County, at 2.6 percent, had the state's lowest jobless rate for the fourth consecutive month.
Several areas that have experienced high unemployment for an extended period continued in the pattern. Many counties along the South Carolina line had unemployment rates of over 10 percent including Rutherford, Anson, Scotland, Cleveland, Transylvania and Richmond.
Others along the border having unemployment near 10 percent included Robeson, at 9.2 percent, and Columbus, at 8.2 percent.
Several counties along the Virginia border also had unemployment in excess of 10 percent. They included Graham,
Halifax, Warren and Rockingham counties.
Several counties in far eastern North Carolina also had unemployment in excess of 10 percent, including Dare, Hyde, and Tyrrell. However, this area is impacted by seasonal employment that falls to its lowest point in midwinter.