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RALEIGH —Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in February.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 15.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.9 percent.  All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 7.2 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 4.1 percent.  The February not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 5.0 percent.

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

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in February by 41,376 to 4,669,306, while those unemployed decreased 21,827 to 247,223. Since February 2016, the number of workers employed statewide increased 87,222, while those unemployed decreased 8,361.

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.

Please also note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is currently conducting its annual data revisions.  Revised county data for prior years is scheduled for release April 21, 2017. The prior-year data reported in this press release will be revised at that time.

Bladen’s unemployment for February was 6.5. Other southeastern North Carolina county unemployment rates were: Columbus 6.1, Brunswick 6.7, New Hanover 4.7, Pender 5.2, Sampson 5.3 and Robeson 7.4.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, April 21, 2017 when the state unemployment rate for March 2017 will be released.