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UnemploymentRALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 98 of North Carolina’s counties in January and decreased in two.

Graham County had the highest unemployment rate at 14.5 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.5 percent.  All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases.  Among the Metro areas, Rocky Mount at 8.2 percent experienced the highest rate and Asheville and Raleigh, both at 4.8 percent, had the lowest.  The January not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 5.9 percent.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 90 counties, increased in seven, and remained unchanged in three.  All 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in January by 1,148 to 4,363,491, while those unemployed decreased 41,534 to 273,212.  Since January 2014, the number of workers employed statewide increased 58,444, while those unemployed decreased 44,375.

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’s rate for January was 8.5%. January of 2014’s rate in Bladen was 10.3% while Bladen’s rate in December 2014 was 7.6%.

Other southeastern county rates for January 2015 were: Brunswick 8.0, Columbus 8.1, Duplin 6.0, Robeson 8.7, Sampson 6.0.