JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - In one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina and the nation, the unemployment rate is still slightly above the national average.
For November, the national unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, as the U.S. economy also added 203,000 jobs. However, North Carolina's rate is about 8 percent.
According to ESC Director Ralph Leeds, Onslow County's unemployment rate is about 7.2 percent.
Tyfhani Jackson is one of those people unemployed.
"I'm currently looking for a job right now," Jackson said.
After being laid off from her job at Camp Lejeune, Tyfhani Jackson finds herself at the Employment Security Commission searching for her next one.
"Right now, I'm a single parent with three boys, so a job for me will mean that I can provide for my kids the way that I need to provide for them," Jackson said.
She was there Friday with many people, sending in those applications.
"I'm a people person,: Jackson said. "I like being around people."
Although Leeds says there's improvement in the local rate, there's room for more.
"The rates are going down because a lot of people are dropping out of the labor force, so you actually have a smaller pool to work with," Leeds said.
He says once we see rates go down, expect to see them go up again.
"You see a spike in the unemployment rate, and it's simply because the people that I mentioned earlier that drop out of the labor force and stop looking, suddenly they start coming back in and start looking for the jobs, because they've heard there are jobs out there," Leeds said.
Leeds says that can be a good thing for Onslow County, as future businesses could take notice and create more jobs -- pumping money back into the local economy.
And Jackson wants to contribute.
"Hopefully I can get a call by somebody who can actually give me that chance to really work for their company," Jackson said.