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RALEIGH —Bladen County reported an unemployment rate 5.5 percent for April. Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 97 of North Carolina’s counties in April and increased in three.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 8.8 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.2 percent.  Fourteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases and one increased. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 6.8 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.3 percent.  The April not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.3 percent.

Counties With Rates Counties With Rates Counties With Rates 5% or Below Between 5% and 10% 10% or Above April 73 27 0 March (Revised) 60 39 1

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 98 counties and increased in two.  All 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in April by 8,754 to 4,704,649, while those unemployed decreased 21,733 to 209,165. Since April 2016, the number of workers employed statewide increased 77,932, while those unemployed decreased 19,513.

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.

Bladen County had a rate of 5.5. Columbus 5.2, Brunswick 5.0, Sampson 4.5, Pender 4.2.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, June 16, 2017 when the state unemployment rate for May 2017 will be released.