Macon’s jobless rate up sharply

The latest report out from the NC Department of Commerce indicates all of the state’s counties saw a rise in their unemployment rates for January.

Here in Macon County, the rise was sharp—going up from 11 to 13.3 percent during the month.

Dale West, with the Joblink Center in Franklin says the recent temporary layoff at Whitley could have contributed to the spike in the jobless rate, “It very well could be part of that. But, our January rates are always higher than any other months. We normally attribute that to our seasonal labor force.”

West says several job openings are listed at the Joblink Office and more employers are beginning to hire for the season, “As of Monday morning, we have 46 jobs listed, which is a big increase over this time last year.”

West is very thankful for the efforts of the town and county to recruit a new operator for the Whitley Plant, which is now know as Franklin Tubular Products. West said they are hiring additional help at this time.