Raleigh, N.C.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 91 of North Carolina’s counties in December, increased in four, and remained unchanged in five. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 6.9 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 2.2 percent. All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 5.0 percent while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest at 2.5 percent. The December not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.2 percent.

  Counties with Rates 5% or Below Counties with Rates Between 5% and 10% Counties with Rates Above 10%
December 90 10 0
November (revised) 92 8 0

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in December by 13,301 to 4,909,662, while those unemployed decreased by 9,893 to 160,692. Since December 2020, the number of workers employed statewide increased 199,479, while those unemployed decreased 146,441.

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 14, 2022 when the state unemployment rate for January 2022 will be released.

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