NEWS ROUNDUP



Article Published: Jan. 28, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

N.C. jobless rate climbs in December
North Carolina's unemployment rate climbed to 11.2 percent in December, surpassing an apparent historic high of 11 percent, according to numbers released this week by the N.C. Employment Security Commission.

The December unemployment rate surpassed the previous historic high of 11 percent, reached in May 2009. The new rate is 0.5 percentage points higher than the 10.7 percent unemployment one month prior in November 2009.

Unemployed workers in North Carolina have received $4.8 billion in benefits over the past year. Advocacy groups are calling for even more government support to offset the recession.

Since December 2007, North Carolina has lost 248,000 total non-farm jobs, and 95,500 jobs in manufacturing employment alone. One year ago, in December 2008, the N.C. unemployment rate was 8.1 percent, or 3.1 percent lower than last December's rate.

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia recorded over-the-month unemployment rate increases in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The national unemployment rate was unchanged in December at 10 percent but was 2.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

Watauga County's rate was 7.4 percent in November. The latest county unemployment statistics will be released next week.

- Scott Nicholson



Resilient Community summit postponed
The MountainKeepers "Creating a More Resilient Community" summit, scheduled for Saturday, Jan 30, has been postponed due to uncertainty about the weather. The new date is April 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Watauga High School. To register or for more information, visit the MountainKeepers Web site at http://www.mountainkeepers.org or contact
Nancy Reigel at (keepers@mountainkeepers.org) or (828) 268-0637. Those who have already paid and need a refund should contact Reigel.


Boone liquor revenue up 20 percent
The Boone Town Council received an update on liquor-store revenues, with a 20 percent increase reported over the previous year's total.

Candy Winebarger, head of Boone's Alcohol Beverage Control Board, presented data to show the local store's profit margin was the fourth-highest in the state at more than 14 percent.

The town of Boone received $116,574 in liquor-tax revenues for the quarter ending on Dec. 31. The Boone Police Department received $6,508 and Watauga County Schools received $13,017. The law-enforcement and school funds are designed to promote alcohol education.

The total local revenues generated by the ABC store was $136,099 for the quarter. The alcohol served to local restaurants was $18,109 for the quarter. That revenue comes from half the $3.75 tax charged per bottle of liquor sold for mixed-drink service and goes to the town of Boone.

For 2009, the total gross liquor sales at the Boone ABC store was $4,623,606.31. That was an increase of about 20 percent over 2008's total, which Winebarger attributed to the adoption of mixed-drink sales.

- Scott Nicholson

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