Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 93 of North Carolina’s counties in January, decreased in one, and remained unchanged in six.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 14.6 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.6 percent.  Fourteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases while one remained unchanged.  Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 6.9 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.7 percent.  The January not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.7 percent.

  Counties With Rates
5% or Below
Counties With Rates
Between 5% and 10%
Counties With Rates
10% or Above
January 2018 55 42 3
December 2017 67 32 1

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

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in January by 7,551 to 4,705,785, while those unemployed increased 16,597 to 230,510. Since January 2017, the number of workers employed statewide increased 97,857, while those unemployed decreased 23,674.

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, March 23, 2018 when the state unemployment rate for February 2018 will be released.

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