May 2, 2013. Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 99 of North Carolina’s counties in March and remained the same in one. All 14 of the State’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Watauga, Avery and Ashe counties all saw drops in its unemployment rate (see graphs below).
Graham County had the highest unemployment rate at 17.8 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 5.6 percent. Among the Metro areas, Rocky Mount at 12.5 percent experienced the highest rate and Durham-Chapel Hill at 6.7 percent had the lowest. The March not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 8.9 percent.
When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates fell in 78 counties, increased in 14 and remained unchanged in eight. Twelve metro areas experienced rate decreases, while one experienced an increase and one remained the same.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in March by 17,248 to 4,273,673, while those unemployed fell 26,855 to 419,546. Since March 2012, the number of workers employed statewide increased 32,155, while those unemployed decreased 22,262.
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 statewide unemployment rate release for April 2013 is scheduled for Friday, May 17, 2013.