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RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 62 of North Carolina’s counties in January, increased in 25, and remained unchanged in 13. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.4 percent, while Orange County had the lowest at 4.3 percent. Thirteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases, one increased, and one remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Fayetteville had the highest rate at 8.2 percent, while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest at 4.9 percent. The January not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 6.0 percent.

Southeastern North Carolina counties rates: Bladen 6.9, Brunswick 7.7, Columbus 8.0, Duplin 5.3, New Hanover 5.5, Pender 5.5, Robeson 8.9, Sampson 5.4.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates increased in 99 counties and decreased in one. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases over the year.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in January by 35,585 to 4,674,598, while those unemployed decreased by 10,464 to 296,669. Since January 2020, the number of workers employed statewide decreased 212,718, while those unemployed increased by 111,710.

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 26, 2021, when the state unemployment rate for February 2021 will be released.