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For and about business in Surry County, N.C., including Dobson, Elkin, Lowgap, Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy

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Summer help swells Surry County’s workforce to 35,000

September 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

Surry County had more than 35,000 people in its workforce this summer, according to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. Seasonal workers — primarily high school and college students — added about 400 people to the workforce.

Approximately 1,900 people in the local labor force were out of work and receiving unemployment compensation, according to NCESC. Those numbers were unchanged from June and July 2006. Then and now, the unemployment rate hovered at about 5.4-5.5 percent.

More than 33,000 people in the resident labor force were working (not necessarily in Surry County) this summer. That number is down about 460 jobs or 1.4 percent from June-July 2006, due to plant closings and permanent layoffs under way at textile and clothing manufacturers in Mount Airy. More losses will appear in the August labor force report.

Earlier this year, Renfro Corp. announced it will end sock production in Mount Airy and end 102 jobs; Russell Corp. said it would close its Cross Creek Apparel Inc. manufacturing plant, eliminating 300 jobs; and Spencer’s Infants & Children’s Wear shuttered its manufacturing plant for a loss of about 125 jobs.

Gildan Activewear Inc. began reducing its Mount Airy workforce after acquiring Kentucky Derby Hosiery in August 2006. By January it had eliminated about 350 jobs, including almost 270 in manufacturing. In August it closed the remaining KDH operations in Mount Airy, ending 520 jobs.

Tags: Workforce

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