Some good news for a change, at least nationally, as the unemployment rate dipped to 8.5 percent last week while the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs. The statistics produced by the U.S. Department of Labor on Jan. 6 show a slowly improving economy, and marks the sixth consecutive month the U.S. has posted a net gain of at least 100,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate is at it lowest point since February of 2009.
Meanwhile, Macon County’s reported unemployment numbers for the month of November were not as positive, and that holds true for most of Western North Carolina (WNC). In November, 1,624 Maconians were listed as unemployed, out of a labor force of about 15,737 citizens, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission. In October of last year the county’s unemployment rate was 9.7 percent.