RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in March. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 8.9 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 3.2 percent. All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases.
Southeastern North Carolina counties rates were: Bladen 5.3, Brunswick 5.8, Columbus 6.1, Cumberland 6.5, Duplin 4.1, New Hanover 4.1, Pender 4.1, Robeson 6.8 and Sampson 4.3.
Among the metro areas, Fayetteville had the highest rate at 6.4 percent while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest at 3.8 percent. The March not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.6 percent.
When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates increased in 84 counties, decreased in 11, and remained unchanged in five. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases over the year.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in March by 41,178 to 4,762,691, while those unemployed decreased by 50,361 to 229,665. Since March 2020, the number of workers employed statewide increased 65,867, while those unemployed increased 35,708.
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, May 21, 2021 when the state unemployment rate for April 2021 will be released.