Raleigh, N.C.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 97 of North Carolina’s counties in March, decreased in two, and remained unchanged in one. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 13.1 percent, while Buncombe, Alexander, and Orange Counties each had the lowest at 3.4 percent. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases. Among the metro areas, Fayetteville and Rocky Mount each had the highest rate at 5.5 percent and Asheville and Durham-Chapel Hill each had the lowest rate at 3.6 percent. The March not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.2 percent.

  Counties with Rates 5% or Below Counties with Rates Between 5% and 10% Counties with Rates Above 10%
March 72 27 1
February (revised) 82 17 1

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates increased in 82 counties, decreased in eight, and remained unchanged in 10. Thirteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases and two remained unchanged.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in March by 162,257 to 4,771,939, while those unemployed increased by 21,101 to 210,268. Since March 2019, the number of workers employed statewide decreased 96,845, while those unemployed increased 6,740.

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 22, 2020 when the state unemployment rate for April 2020 will be released..

NOTE TO EDITORS: The statistics reported in this release are based on activity prior to March 15 and thus do not reflect the full impact of recent COVID-19 related shutdowns in North Carolina.

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