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Bladen’s unemployment rate at 5.3 percent

Bladen County’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent for September, according to figures released Wednesday by the state’s Department of Commerce.

Bladen County’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percent from August’s figure of 5.8 percent, according to the report.

Bladen County had a labor force of 14,573 in September’s report with 777 of those unemployed. Bladen County’s unemployment rate was 86th among North Carolina’s 100 counties, according to the report. A year ago, Bladen County’s unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.

Statewide, North Carolina’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September dropped 0.5 percent from August and is at 4.0 percent, according to the Commerce Department. There were 197,787 people listed as unemployed in North Carolina among a labor force of 4,967,185.

Unemployment rates for September for nearby counties were reported as: Columbus, 4.8 percent; Cumberland, 5.1 percent; Pender, 4.1 percent; Robeson, 5.8 percent; and Sampson, 4.2 percent.

Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.9 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.1 percent, the Commerce Department says. Eighty-one of North Carolina’s 100 counties had unemployment rates below five percent in September’s while 19 counties had rates between 5 and 10 percent.

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