NC Commerce

North Carolina Department of Commerce

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Press Releases


North Carolina’s December County and Area Employment Figures Released

Date: 2/3/2016

Contact: Kim Genardo
Phone: 919 814-4610

* press release includes an attachment *
RALEIGH —Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 70 of North Carolina’s counties in December, increased in 21, and remained unchanged in nine. Graham County had the highest unemployment rate at 12.0 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.9 percent. Thirteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases while one increased and one remained unchanged. Among the Metro areas, Rocky Mount at 7.3 percent experienced the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 4.2 percent. The December not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 5.3 percent.

  Counties With Rates
5% or Below
Counties With Rates
Between 5% and 10%
Counties With Rates
10% or Above
December 26 71 3
November (Revised) 19 79 2

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates increased in 81 counties, decreased in 12, and remained unchanged in seven. Fourteen metro areas experienced rate increases over the year while one decreased.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in December by 25,147 to 4,502,869 while those unemployed decreased 10,375 to 249,845. Since December 2014, the number of workers employed statewide increased 140,526, while those unemployed increased 18,167.

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 14, 2016 when the state unemployment rate for January 2016 will be released.

This information may be accessed on the Commerce website at


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