Raleigh, N.C.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 77 of North Carolina’s counties in May, decreased in eight, and remained unchanged in 15. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 8.6 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 3.3 percent. Thirteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases, one decreased, and one remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 6.5 percent while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest at 3.7 percent. The May not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.5 percent.

  Counties with Rates 5% or Below Counties with Rates Between 5% and 10% Counties with Rates Above 10%
May 75 25 0
April (revised) 74 26 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) decreased in May by 19,658 to 4,736,961, while those unemployed increased by 4,067 to 222,136. Since May 2020, the number of workers employed statewide increased 584,560, while those unemployed decreased 437,470.

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, July 16, 2021 when the state unemployment rate for June 2021 will be released.

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