For the month of January, McDowell County reported a jobless rate of 13.2 percent, which is an increase from the month before.
The N.C. Division of Employment Security released Tuesday the January unemployment figures for all 100 counties in the state. McDowell’s rate went from 12.6 percent in December to 13.2 percent in January. The county’s rate for January is 2.7 points higher than the statewide rate of 10.5 percent. It also means 2,659 people in McDowell are considered unemployed, out of a local labor force of 20,112.
Of the surrounding counties, Rutherford reported the highest rate for January with a rate of 15.4 percent. Rutherford also had the seventh highest rate in the entire state for the month. Yancey reported a 14.1 percent rate while Avery had a 13.4 percent rate. Mitchell posted a 13.8 percent rate while Burke reported a 12.3 percent rate. Buncombe reported a rate of 8.3 percent, the lowest rate of the surrounding counties.
Seasonal factors contributed to an increase in county unemployment rates across North Carolina in January. Rates increased in 95 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, decreased in three counties and remained the same in two counties. Over the year, unemployment rates increased in 58 counties, decreased in 35 counties and remained the same in seven counties, according to the news release from the DES.
“Seasonal losses in retail as well as the leisure and hospitality sector contributed to gains in the unemployment rates,” said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. “While rates were up in January, over-the-year nearly half of the state’s counties unemployment rates decreased or remained the same. Our focus continues to be our customers in assisting them in finding work through programs at our DES offices and JobLink Career Centers statewide.”
North Carolina had 36 counties that were below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 10.5 percent. Rates increased in the 14 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
The number of workers employed (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in January by 3,265 to 4,165,580. The number of people unemployed increased 13,681 in January to 488,427, compared to 474,746 in December.
Orange County has the state’s lowest jobless rate in January with 6.4 percent. Graham County has the highest employment rate at 20.6 percent.
“It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns and therefore it is advisable to focus on the over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted series,” reads the news release from DES.