igh, N.C. — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 56 of North Carolina’s counties in December, increased in 20, and remained unchanged in 24.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.6 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.4 percent.  Eleven of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases and four remained unchanged.  Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 6.3 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.6 percent.  The December not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.4 percent. 

  Counties With Rates
5% or Below
Counties With Rates
Between 5% and 10%
Counties With Rates
10% or Above
December 67 32 1
November (Revised) 65 35 0

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 98 counties and remained unchanged in two.  All 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in December by 37,295 to 4,684,502, while those unemployed decreased 6,047 to 215,792. Since December 2016, the number of workers employed statewide increased 34,669, while those unemployed decreased 22,548.

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 Monday, March 12, 2018 when the state unemployment rate for January 2018 will be released.

This information may be accessed on the Commerce website at nccommerce.com/lead

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