Raleigh, N.C.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 99 of North Carolina’s counties in December and remained unchanged in one. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 8.6 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.0 percent. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 5.0 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.1 percent. The December not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.8 percent.

  Counties with Rates 5% or Below Counties with Rates Between 5% and 10% Counties with Rates Above 10%
December 84 16 0
November (revised) 91 9 0

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 99 counties and increased in one. All 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in December by 29,983 to 4,791,992, while those unemployed increased 14,695 to 187,253. Since December 2017, the number of workers employed statewide increased 78,656, while those unemployed decreased 26,660.

It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Monday, March 11, 2019 when the state unemployment rate for January 2019 will be released.

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