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RALEIGH —Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 67 of North Carolina’s counties in May, decreased in 13, and remained unchanged in 20. Edgecombe and Scotland Counties each had the highest unemployment rate at 7.8 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.3 percent.

Thirteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases and two remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 6.8 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.5 percent. The May not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.3 percent.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 97 counties, increased in one, and remained unchanged in two. Fourteen metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year and one increased.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in May by 5,145 to 4,709,722, while those unemployed increased 4,347 to 212,911. Since May 2016, the number of workers employed statewide increased 64,923, while those unemployed decreased 14,348.

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 was at 5.6 percent. Other southesastern counties were: Brunswick 5.0, Columbus 5.2, Duplin 4.5, Sampson 4.6, Pender 4.4, Robeson 5.5.

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