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Last updated: April 29. 2014 2:28PM - 305 Views
By - erinsmith@civitasmedia.com



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RALEIGH — The labor market in Bladen County is slowly improving as the numbers for the month of March are now coming in.
Bladen County saw its unemployment rate dip 0.3 percent in March to 9.6 percent down from 9.9 percent in February. This ranks Bladen County at No. 93 in the state in unemployment.
Neighboring Columbus and Robeson counties also saw their unemployment numbers decrease in March, too. Columbus County reported saw the greatest improvement with an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent in March. This ranks Columbus county No. 82 in the state in unemployment. Robeson County also reported a decrease in their unemployment numbers from 9.6 percent in February to 9.3 percent in March. This ranks Robeson County No. 91 in the state in unemployment.
Scotland County, however, only reported a slight decrease in unemployment and had the highest unemployment rate in the area for the month of March with a rate of 12.2 percent down only 0.2 percent from 12.4 percent in February. Scotland County is ranked No. 99 in the state for unemployment. Only one county ranks lower, that is Graham County, with an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent for March.
Bladen County claims a labor force of 14,535 in March and listed 1,401 individuals as unemployed. Columbus County claims a labor force of 23,995 and listed 2,072 individuals as unemployed while Robeson County claims a labor force of 53,924 and listed 5,040 individuals as unemployed. Scotland County reported a labor force of 12,381 and listed 1,505 individuals as unemployed.
One year ago, Bladen County reported an unemployment rate of 11.5 percent for an over the year decrease of 1.9 percent. Columbus County reported an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent in March 2013 for an over the year decrease of 2 percent while Robeson County reported an unemployment rate of 11.5 percent in March 2013 for an over the year decrease of 2.2 percent. Scotland County reported an unemployment rate of 15 percent in March 2013, the highest in the region, for an over the year decrease of 2.8 percent.
For the month of March, 90 counties reported an unemployment rate between 5 and 10 percent, six counties reported an unemployment of 10 or above and four counties reported an unemployment rate below 5 percent. By comparison, in February, 88 counties reported an unemployment rate between 5 and 10 percent, seven counties reported an unemployment rate above 10 percent and five counties reported an unemployment rate below 5 percent.

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