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North Carolina’s January County and Area Employment Figures Released

Date: 3/17/2017

Contact: David Rhoades
Phone: 919 814-4611

* press release includes an attachment *

Raleigh, N.C. — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in January.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 16.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.3 percent.  All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 7.9 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 4.6 percent.  The January not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 5.5 percent.      

  Counties With Rates
5% or Below
Counties With Rates
Between 5% and 10%
Counties With Rates
10% or Above
January 16 80 4
December 42 56 2

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 89 counties, increased in five, and remained unchanged in six.  Thirteen metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year and two remained unchanged.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in January by 22,109 to 4,627,724, while those unemployed increased 30,930 to 269,270. Since January 2016, the number of workers employed statewide increased 104,815, while those unemployed increased.

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.

Please also note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is currently conducting its annual data revisions.  Revised county data for prior years is scheduled for release April 21, 2017. The prior-year data reported in this press release will be revised at that time.    

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, March 24, 2017 when the state unemployment rate for February 2017 will be released. 

This information may be accessed on the Commerce website at


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