Ashe County’s unemployment rate rose to 13.8 percent for January, up 2.1 over December and 0.8 percent over January 2012, according to the latest report from the N.C. Division of Employment Security (DES).
Ashe had an estimated civilian labor force of 11,962 in January, with 1,652 looking for work.
The county’s January rate has been above 12 percent for five consecutive years. Annual average unemployement has held above 12 percent since 2009, and Ashe has not seen single-digit unemployment during any single month since November, 2008.
For week ending Jan. 26, there were 609 claimants drawing regular unemployment, and 253 receiving federal extended Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), according to DES Acting Public Information Director Larry Parker.
Avery County, at 13.7, was up 1.5 percent over-the-month (OTM) and up 1 percent over-the-year (OTY). Surry increased to 11.1, up 1.1 percent OTM and 0.6 OTY.
Alleghany climbed to 12.6, up 1.9 percent OTM, but with a modest OTY decrease of 0.6 percent. Caldwell rose to 12 percent, up 1 percent OTM, but also seeing a slight OTY decline of 0.5 percent.
Watauga’s rate increased to 9.5, up 1.1 percent OTM and up 0.6 OTY. Wilkes rose to 11.7 percent, a 0.8 OTM increase, up 0.3 percent OTY.
Graham County had the highest unemployment rate in the state with 20.4 percent, while Orange County had the lowest with 6.6 percent.
Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest January rate with 14.1 percent, while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest with 7.7 percent. Unemployment increased in all 14 of the state’s metro areas.
Statewide unemployment for January was 10.2 percent, an increase of 0.8 percent over December, and an OTY uptick of 0.1 percent. Over-the-month unemployment increased in all 100 counties.
Thirty-one counties had rates at or below the state’s 10.2 percent average.
North Carolina’s jobless rate for January was 2.3 points above the national average of 7.9 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Statewide unemployment benefits paid from February 2012 to January 2013 totalled $2,797,177,357.