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Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in five of North Carolina’s counties in July, decreased in 70, and remained unchanged in 25, according to figures released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Southeastern N.C. county rates are: Bladen 5.4, Brunswick 5.2, Columbus 5.8, Duplin 4.6, New Hanover
3.9, Pender 4.4, Sampson 4.5.

Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 7.4 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.3 percent.

Twelve of the state’s 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases while three remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 6.0 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.5 percent.

The July not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.4 percent.

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

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in July by 33,300 to
4,953,588, while those unemployed decreased by 2,405 to 226,720. Since July 2018, the number of
workers employed statewide increased 125,372, while those unemployed increased 19,297.

It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns, the N.C. Department of Commerce says; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Sept. 20 when the state unemployment rate for August will be released.

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