Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 45 of North Carolina’s counties in December, increased in 25, and remained unchanged in 30. 

Jackson County’s rate stood at 3.4 percent, up .1 percent from November and down .6 percent from December 2018. Some 19,493 were employed in the county and 655 unemployed.

Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 9.7 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 2.5 percent. Ten of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases, one increased, and four remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Fayetteville had the highest rate at 4.4 percent and Asheville had the lowest rate at 2.7 percent.

The December not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.3 percent.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 95 counties, increased in three, and remained unchanged in two. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in December by 27,197 to 4,909,376, while those unemployed decreased by 4,392 to 169,153. Since December 2018, the number of workers employed statewide increased 128,272, while those unemployed decreased 16,003.

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 March 16 when the state unemployment rate for January will be released.