Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 74 of North Carolina’s counties in February, increased in 10, and remained unchanged in 16.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 14.9 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.5 percent.  Eleven of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases while four remained unchanged.  Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 6.8 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.7 percent.  The February not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.6 percent.

  Counties With Rates
5% or Below
Counties With Rates
Between 5% and 10%
Counties With Rates
10% or Above
February 58 40 2
January (revised) 55 42 3


When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 97 counties, increased in two, and remained unchanged in one.  All 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in February by 44,983 to 4,750,064, while those unemployed decreased 2,927 to 227,582. Since February 2017, the number of workers employed statewide increased 90,915, while those unemployed decreased 17,547.

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 Friday, April 20, 2018 when the state unemployment rate for March 2018 will be released.

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