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North Carolina Department of Commerce

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North Carolina’s March County and Area Employment Figures Released

Date: 5/3/2017

Contact: David Rhoades
Phone: 919 814-4611

* press release includes an attachment *

Raleigh, N.C. —Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 98 of North Carolina’s counties in March, increased in one, and remained unchanged in one.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 12.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.7 percent.  All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 6.6 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.9 percent.  The March not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.7 percent. 

  Counties With Rates
5% or Below
Counties With Rates
Between 5% and 10%
Counties With Rates
10% or Above
March 58 41 1
February (Revised) 38 59 3

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.  All 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in March by 43,695 to 4,712,676, while those unemployed decreased 14,771 to 231,828. Since March 2016, the number of workers employed statewide increased 86,539, while those unemployed decreased 13,393.

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 has completed its annual data revisions for county and area unemployment rates.  The prior-year data reported in this release have been revised.  Historical data have been revised back to January 2010.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, May 19, 2017 when the state unemployment rate for April 2017 will be released.

This information may be accessed on the Commerce website at


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