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North Carolina Department of Commerce

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North Carolina’s December County and Area Employment Figures Released

Date: 2/1/2017

Contact: David Rhoades
Phone: 919 814-4611

* press release includes an attachment *

Raleigh, N.C. — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 71 of North Carolina’s counties in December, decreased in 9, and remained unchanged in 20.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.6 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.7 percent.  Eleven of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases and four remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 7.0 percent experienced the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 4.0 percent.  The December 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
December 42 56 2
November (Revised) 52 48 0

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 97 counties, increased in one, and remained unchanged in two.  Fourteen metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year and one remained unchanged.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in December by 290 to 4,661,550, while those unemployed increased 5,538 to 239,491. Since December 2015, the number of workers employed statewide increased 153,223, while those unemployed decreased 10,780.

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 13, 2017 when the state unemployment rate for January 2017 will be released.

This information may be accessed on the Commerce website at


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