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RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 99 of North Carolina’s counties in January and decreased in one, according to figures released Friday by the N.C. Department of Commerce. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.1% while Greene, Buncombe, and Orange Counties each had the lowest at 3%.

Southeastern North Carolina county rates: Bladen 4.7%, Brunswick 5%, Columbus 4.2%, Cumberland 5.2%, Duplin 3.6%, New Hanover 3.4%, Pender 3.5%, Robeson 5.5%, and Sampson 3.6%.

All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 5.4% while Asheville and Raleigh each had the lowest at 3.1%. The January not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.7%.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 71 counties, increased in 14, and remained unchanged in 15. Eleven of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year and four remained unchanged.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in January by 1,538 to 4,964,633, while those unemployed increased by 27,047 to 190,835. Since January 2022, the number of workers employed statewide increased 74,495, while those unemployed decreased 6,789.

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, March 24 when the statewide unemployment rate for February will be released.

These data can be accessed on the Commerce website at https://analytics.nccommerce.com/NC-Today/Local-Unemployment-Rates.php

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