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RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 98 of North Carolina’s counties in August and remained unchanged in two, according to figures released Thursday by the N.C. Department of Commerce. Edgecombe County had the highest unemployment rate at 7.9 percent while Buncombe, Swain, and Chatham Counties each had the lowest at 3.1 percent.

All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 6.5 percent while Asheville and Durham-Chapel Hill each had the lowest at 3.2 percent. The August not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.9 percent.

Southeastern North Carolina counties unemployment rates: Bladen 4.7, Brunswick 4.8, Columbus 4.7, Cumberland 5.8, Duplin 3.8, New Hanover 3.4, Pender 3.6, Robeson 6.5 and Sampson 4.0.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in August by 52,600 to 4,914,946, while those unemployed increased by 9,779 to 199,869. Since August 2021, the number of workers employed statewide increased 187,171, while those unemployed decreased 40,417.

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 Friday, October 21 when the state unemployment rate for September 2022 will be released.

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