For the month of October, McDowell County reported a jobless rate of 4.5 percent, which is almost the same as the month before and remains below the statewide rate.
The N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division released Wednesday the October unemployment figures for all 100 counties in the state. McDowell’s rate for that month was 4.5 percent. The September rate was 4.3 percent.
The county’s rate for October is below the statewide rate of 4.9 percent. It also means 955 people in McDowell are considered unemployed, out of a local labor force of 21,328, according to a news release from the Labor and Economic Analysis Division.
The October rate for McDowell is .7 of a point lower than it was a year before. In October 2015, McDowell reported an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent.
Of the surrounding counties, Rutherford reported the highest rate for October with a rate of 6.1 percent. Mitchell had the next highest rate for the surrounding counties with 5.6 percent. Burke had 4.8 percent while Yancey had 4.7 percent. Avery had a 4.5 percent rate. Buncombe reported a rate of 3.6 percent, the lowest rate of the counties surrounding McDowell and the lowest for the entire state.
Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 44 of North Carolina’s counties in October, decreased in 22, and remained unchanged in 34. Robeson County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.6 percent. Six of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases, three decreased, and six remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 7.2 percent experienced the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 3.8 percent. The October not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.9 percent.
When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 92 counties, increased in seven, and remained unchanged in one. Fourteen metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year and one increased. The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in October by 35,611 to 4,659,304, while those unemployed increased 6,747 to 237,804. Since October 2015, the number of workers employed statewide increased 133,693, while those unemployed decreased 22,796, according to the news release.
“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,” reads the news release.