The unemployment rate in Ashe County increased by 0.2 percent between April 2014 and May 2014, according to data released Tuesday, July 1, by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
According to the data provided by the N.C. DOC’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division, Ashe County has a labor force of 11,540 people. Of those, 877 are considered unemployed.
In April, Ashe County’s labor force consisted of 11,344 people with 837 considered unemployed and the rate was at 7.4 percent. In May 2013, Ashe County’s unemployment rate was 10.2 percent.
Ashe County was ranked No. 75 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties in unemployment.
Ashe and Alleghany counties had the highest unemployment rates in the High Country with 7.6 percent each, while Mitchell and Wilkes counties had unemployment rates of 7.5 percent. Watauga County had the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 6.3 percent.
Statewide, unemployment rates increased between April and May in 92 of North Carolina’s counties, with seven counties having lower unemployment rates and the rate remaining unchanged in one county.
“The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in May by 33,207 to 4,414,534 while those unemployed increased 29,237 to 312,061,” according to the release sent out by the N.C. DOC. “Since May 2013, the number of workers employed statewide increased 72,777, while those unemployed decreased 77,813.”
Currituck (4.6 percent) and Chatham (4.7 percent) counties had the lowest unemployment rates in North Carolina, while Scotland (12.7 percent) and Edgecombe (11 percent) counties had the highest.
North Carolina had a statewide unemployment rate of 6.6 percent in May 2014, compared to 6.1 percent in April 2014 and 8.2 percent in May 2013.
Unemployment rates increased in all of the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and all but one (Kill Devil Hills) of the state’s Micropolitan Statistical areas.
There were 23,306 regular unemployment insurance initial claims statewide in May 2014.
“New regular initial claims, totaling 19,691 for the month ending May 2014, increased 510 from the prior month,” according to the release.
Mecklenburg (2,728), Wake (1,981) and Guilford (1,600) counties had the highest number of unemployment insurance claim transactions for the month of May. Mecklenburg County also received the highest regular unemployment insurance benefits in the state totalling $4,719,184.
The next unemployment update will be released by the state on Friday, July 18, when state unemployment rate for June 2014 will be released.
For more information, visit www.nccommerce.com/
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.