Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 26 of North Carolina’s counties in August, decreased in 40, and remained unchanged in 34, according to figures released by the N.C. Department of Commerce.

Jackson County’s rate stood at 4.5 percent, down 0.1 percent from July and .4 percent from August 2018. Some 20,352 were employed in the county and 906 unemployed.

Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 7.5 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.3 percent.

Eleven of the state’s 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases while four remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 5.9 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.5 percent. The August not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.3 percent.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates increased in 98 counties and decreased in two. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases over the year. The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in August by 65,076 to 4,887,080, while those unemployed decreased by 6,085 to 220,756.

Since August 2018, the number of workers employed statewide increased 136,288, while those unemployed increased 21,997. 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 Oct. 18, when the state unemployment rate for September will be released.