Ashe County had a decrease of 1.3 percent in its unemployment rate between March and April, according to data provided by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
“Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 99 of North Carolina’s counties in April and increased in one,” according to the release.
The number of people in Ashe County’s labor force also increased in that time period from 11,191 in March to 11,344 in April.
The unemployment rate for the county between April 2013 and April 2014 decreased 2.9 percent. According to the data released by the DOC, Ashe has 835 in the labor force that are unemployed, down from 973 in March.
In the High Country region, Ashe County continues to have the highest rate. Avery County has an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent and Mitchell County has a 7.2 percent rate.
Watauga County had the lowest rate in the region with 5.6 percent unemployment.
Of the High Country counties, Alleghany County had the largest unemployment decrease at 1.8 percent between March and April, but the county’s labor force decreased. Mitchell County also had an unemployment decrease over 1 percent (1.1 percent), but its labor force only increased by 2 people.
Statewide, Orange County had the lowest unemployment rate at 4 percent, followed by Polk and Chatham counties at 4.2 percent. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.6 percent, followed by Graham County with a 10.6 percent unemployment rate.
According to the release, Mecklenberg, Wake and Guilford counties have the highest number of unemployment insurance claims.
“New regular initial claims, totaling 19,181 for the month ending April 2014, increased 465 from the prior month,” according to the release. “Attached New Initial Claims totaled 61, or less than 1 percent. During the same period a year ago, new claims totaled 29,311, of which 16 percent were Attached.”
The only county in the state to have its unemployment rate increase was Greene County, which jumped 0.1 percent.
While in Ashe the number of workers in the labor force have increased, the number of those being employed throughout the state are still lower than those that are no longer unemployed.
“The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in April by 25,952 to 4,380,705, while those unemployed decreased 27,552 to 280,798,” according to the release. “Since April 2013, the number of workers employed statewide increased 66,772 while those unemployed decreased 91,220.”
The next unemployment update will be released Friday, June 20 when statewide data from May 2014 will be published.
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.