RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 83 of North Carolina’s counties in October, increased in eight, and remained unchanged in nine. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 7.8 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 2.6 percent. Thirteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases, one increased, and one remained unchanged.
Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 5.8 percent while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest at 2.9 percent. The October not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.6 percent.
When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year. Southeastern North Carolina counties and their unemployment rates were: Bladen 4.5, Brunswick 4.5, Columbus 5.0, Cumberland 5.6, Duplin 3.3, New Hanover 3.1, Pender 3.1, Robeson 6.0, and Sampson 3.4.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in October by 19,925 to 4,884,941, while those unemployed decreased by 5,888 to 184,904. Since October 2020, the number of workers employed statewide increased 156,670, while those unemployed decreased 140,164.
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, December 17, 2021, when the state unemployment rate for November 2021 will be released.