Raleigh, N.C.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 89 of North Carolina’s counties in May, decreased in six, and remained unchanged in five. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 7.3 percent while Chatham and Orange Counties each had the lowest at 2.9 percent. All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 5.9 percent while Asheville had the lowest at 3.0 percent. The May not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.6 percent.

  Counties with Rates 5% or Below Counties with Rates Between 5% and 10% Counties with Rates Above 10%
May 85 15 0
April (revised) 87 13 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) increased in May by 23,486 to 4,949,923, while those unemployed increased by 12,208 to 187,438. Since May 2021, the number of workers employed statewide increased 270,139, while those unemployed decreased 67,479.

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 22, 2022 when the state unemployment rate for June 2022 will be released.

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Note to Editors: Supplemental data for this release is now available via a live online dashboard.  The PDF version of this supplemetal data has been discontinued, although the PDF attached to this release does contain additional charts and tables for today's data.  Contact Commerce Communications for further information on these changes. 

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