CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's been one piece of bad news after another lately when it comes to jobs in our area.
For instance, this week Phillip Morris in Concord announced it was laying off 180 workers by January. By 2010 its entire Concord operation will be shut down. That means 1700 people who now work there will have to work somewhere else.
Also affecting Cabarrus County, and the region -- some NASCAR teams are now laying off workers thanks to the economy.
Troubles have hit Mecklenburg County too. The U.S. National Whitewater Center announced it is laying off six people. It is also cutting over 250 seasonal jobs now that the weather is turning colder. It's not unusual for big seasonal job cuts at the center; but this year's number is bigger than normal thanks to the economy.
The hardest hit county in our area is Chester County, SC. That's where unemployment is 11.8 percent. Lancaster County, SC, has things almost as rough; the rate there is 11.6 percent.
The county in our area with the lowest unemployment rate is Watauga County, NC, where it is only 4.1 percent. Union County, NC, is in the second best shape; it's rate is 6 percent.
North Carolina has the 10th worst unemployment rate in the nation; South Carolina has the 5th worst.