Raleigh, N.C.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 55 of North Carolina’s counties in December, decreased in 28, and remained unchanged in 17. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.2 percent while Watauga County had the lowest at 4.3 percent. Four of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases, seven decreased, and four remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Fayetteville had the highest rate at 8.2 percent while Durham-Chapel Hill and Raleigh each had the lowest at 5.2 percent. The December not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 6.0 percent.

  Counties with Rates 5% or Below Counties with Rates Between 5% and 10% Counties with Rates Above 10%
December 8 91 1
November (revised) 13 86 1

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

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in December by 3,616 to 4,681,331, while those unemployed decreased by 3,503 to 297,387. Since December 2019, the number of workers employed statewide decreased 221,241, while those unemployed increased 129,132.

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 15, 2021 when the state unemployment rate for January 2021 will be released.

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