The unemployment rate for Ashe County dropped to 8.1 percent in November of 2013, according to data released by the N.C. Division of Employment Security.
November’s unemployment rate is the county’s lowest since Oct. 2008, when the rate was 7.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The rate is down from Oct. 2013, where the county’s unemployment rate was 8.7 percent and Nov. 2012, when the rate was 10.6 percent. In Sept. 2013, the rate was 8.9 percent, showing the decreased rate continuing.
Ashe County now ranks No. 71 out of N.C.’s 100 counties in unemployment.
According to DES data, in November Ashe has a workforce of 11,845 people, with 964 unemployed. In October, Ashe County had a labor force of 11,729 people with 1,025 unemployed.
For the county, this means the labor force has increased while the number of those unemployed have decreased.
Statewide, the numer of counties with over 10 percent unemployment was cut in half between October and November, as it decreased from 12 counties to six. North Carolina has 91 counties that have a rate between 5 and 10 percent, and three counties with rates below 5 percent.
“Over the month, the unemployment rate decreased in 91 counties and increased in nine,” according to the data release. “Thirty-seven counties had unemployment rates at or below the state’s 6.9 percent rate.”
Scotland (13.5 percent) and Edgecombe (12 percent) counties had the highest unemployment rates, while Orange (4.3 percent) and Chatham (4.6 percent) counties had the lowest.
Within the High Country, Watauga County had the lowest unemployment rate (5.7 percent) while Mitchell County had the highest (8.9 percent). In the other counties neighboring Ashe, Alleghany County’s rate was 7.5 percent while Wilkes County had a 7.8 percent unemployment rate in November.
All 14 Metropolitian Statistical Areas within N.C. saw a decrease in its unemployment rates. Within nearby Micropolitian Statistical Areas, all but one (Kill Devil Hills) saw an unemployment decrease.
The next unemployment update is scheduled for Jan. 28, when data from December of 2013 will be released.