• 72°

National unemployment rate up

December brought with it the highest unemployment rate in the past 10 years.

The number of unemployed increased to 11.1 million and the unemployment rate jumped from November’s 6.8 percent to 7.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also noted that in December, job losses were large and widespread across most major industry sectors.

Since the beginning of the current recession unemployment has grown by 3.6 million.

In December 2007 the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent.

Unemployment rates have risen from 4.9 percent in January 2008 to the 7.2 percent in December.

Demographically, the unemployment rate for adult men was 7.2 percent and 5.9 percent for women.

Breaking it down by race, whites experienced a 6.6 percent unemployment rate, blacks 11.9 percent and Hispanics 9.2 percent.

The number of people losing jobs and those completing temporary jobs rose by 315,000 to 6.5 million in December.

Throughout the last 12 months, the size of this group has increased by 2.7 million. Long-term unemployment, meaning people who have been with out a job for more than 27 weeks rose to 2.6 million, and increased 1.3 million in 2008.While unemployment rates are up nationally for December, the state and local figures will not be released until later this month, Pike County is still experiencing growth in some industry sectors, some companies are in the process of expanding.

There are several companies in this area that are growing, according to Marsha Gaylard, president of the Pike County Economic Development Corp.