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Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in March.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 12.7 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.3 percent.  All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases.  Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 6.3 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.5 percent.  The March not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.3 percent.   

  Counties With Rates
5% or Below
Counties With Rates
Between 5% and 10%
Counties With Rates
10% or Above
March 68 31 1
February (revised) 58 40 2


When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 76 counties, increased in 17, and remained unchanged in seven.  13 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year and two remained unchanged.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in March by 29,951 to 4,780,438, while those unemployed decreased 11,315 to 215,431. Since March 2017, the number of workers employed statewide increased 68,826, while those unemployed decreased 6,419.

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, May 18, 2018 when the state unemployment rate for April 2018 will be released.

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