“Unemployment rates continued to drop across North Carolina in November,” said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. “Over-the-year, rates decreaed in 71 counties. We remain focused on assisting our customers at our DES offices and JobLink Career Centers statewide.”
Ashe County unemployment fell to 10 percent in November, from 10.2 percent in October. Year over year, the Ashe County unemployment picture improved by nearly a full percentage point, from 10.9 percent in November 2010. Statewide, the unemployment rate decreased to 9.5 percent from 9.7 percent in October. Year over year, NC unemployment fell by .4 percent from 9.9 percent in November 2010.
Bucking the October trend that saw Ashe County’s labor force contract in September and October, the county’s labor force grew to 12,080 from 11,936 in October. Coupled with a decrease in unemployment, the expansion likely indicates increased hiring in Ashe County.
39 of North Carolina’s 100 counties were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 9.5 percent. Lower unemployment figures were also seen in all 14 of the state’s Metroplitan Statistical Areas.
Across the state, however, the number of employed (not-seasonally adjusted) decreased in November to 4,069,246. At the same time, the number of unemployed decreased by 12,528 people to 427,141, versus 439,669 in October.
The seven counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Orange County at 5.8 percent, Gates at 6.9 percent, Polk at 7.1 percent, Buncombe at 7.2 percent, Currituck at 7.2 percent, Watauga at 7.2 percent, and Camden at 7.3 percent.
The seven counties with the highest unemployment rates are Scotland at 16.6 percent, Edgecombe at 15.5 percent, Graham at 15 percent, Caldwell at 13.1 percent, Vance at 13.1 percent, Halifax at 12.9 percent, and Rutherford at 12.9 percent.
Of Ashe County’s neighbors, Watauga County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent in October. Wilkes County’s rate fell to 10.6 percent from 10.8 percent, Alleghany County increased to 10.9 percent from 10.2 percent, and Avery County’s rate increased by a full percentage point to 10.9 percent from 9.9 percent in October.
In Ashe County, the unemployment benefits paid over the past 12 months (November 2010-November 2011) were $11,310,030. Watauga County residents received $11,383,270, Avery’s received $6,068,859, Alleghany $4,272,017, and Wilkes $27,451,320.
The N.C. DES’s own Job Connector website lists 124 jobs available in Ashe, Avery, Alleghany, Watauga and Wilkes counties. The Job Connector website can be accessed by going to ncesc.com, click on individual services in the menu at left, then select “Find jobs with NC Job Connector.” From there, applicants can choose “Preview job listings” where up to two counties at a time can be selected to seach for available positions.