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North Carolina Department of Commerce

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North Carolina’s October County and Area Employment Figures Released

Date: 11/30/2016

Contact: David Rhoades
Phone: 919 814-4611

* press release includes an attachment *

Raleigh, N.C. — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 44 of North Carolina’s counties in October, decreased in 22, and remained unchanged in 34.  Robeson County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.6 percent.  Six of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases, three decreased, and six remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 7.2 percent experienced the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.8 percent.  The October not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.9 percent.   

  Counties With Rates
5% or Below
Counties With Rates
Between 5% and 10%
Counties With Rates
10% or Above
October 51 48 1
September (Revised) 55 45 0

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 92 counties, increased in seven, and remained unchanged in one.  Fourteen metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year and one increased.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in October by 35,611 to 4,659,304, while those unemployed increased 6,747 to 237,804. Since October 2015, the number of workers employed statewide increased 133,693, while those unemployed decreased 22,796.

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, December 16, 2016 when the state unemployment rate for November 2016 will be released.

This information may be accessed on the Commerce website at


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