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North Carolina's February County and Area Employment Figures Released

RALEIGH, N.C. : April 5th, 2017 - Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in February. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 15.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.9 percent. All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 7.2 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 4.1 percent. The February not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 5.0 percent.
When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties. All 15 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in February by 41,376 to 4,669,306, while those unemployed decreased 21,827 to 247,223. Since February 2016, the number of workers employed statewide increased 87,222, while those unemployed decreased 8,361.
It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates.
Please also note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is currently conducting its annual data revisions.
Revised county data for prior years is scheduled for release April 21, 2017. The prior-year data reported in this press release will be revised at that time.
The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, April 21, 2017 when the state unemployment rate for March 2017 will be released.
New Hanover County's workforce of 117,213 had 5,503 unemployed for a rate of 4.7% for February 2017 which is a -0.5% decrease from the January 2017 rate of 5.2% and a -0.8% decrease from the February 2016 rate of 5.5%.
For the City of Wilmington, 6,906 of the 144,054 workforce were unemployed in February 2017 for a rate of 4.8% which is -0.5% decrease from the January 2017 rate of 5.3% and a -0.9% decrease from the February 2016 rate of 5.7%.
New Hanover County ranked 22nd among North Carolina's 100 counties for unemployment.
North Carolina’s statewide unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) was 5.0 percent in February. This was 0.5 of a percentage point decrease from January’s revised rate, while decreasing 0.3 of a percentage point over the year.
Over the month, the unemployment rate decreased in all 100 counties. Thirty-nine  counties had unemployment rates at or below the state’s 5.0 percent rate.
Hyde County recorded February’s highest unemployment rate at 15.3 percent, followed by Tyrrell at 12.1 percent, Dare at 11.9 percent, and Graham at 10.0 percent. Buncombe County had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, followed by Alexander & Orange at 4.1 percent, and Granville, Chatham, Wake & Henderson at 4.2%.
Unemployment rates decreased in all the state’s 15 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) over the month. The Rocky Mount MSA had the highest unemployment rate in February at 7.2 percent, followed by Fayetteville at 6.2 percent. Asheville reported the month’s lowest unemployment rate at 4.1 percent, followed by Raleigh, 4.3 percent, and Durham/Chapel Hill, 4.4 percent.
Over the month, net industry employment increased in 13 of 15 MSAs. Charlotte/Concord/Gastonia, NC-SC had the largest net employment decrease with 5,000, followed by Durham/Chapel Hill, 4,300; Raleigh, 3,500, Greensboro/High Point, 1,800, Asheville, 1,600, and Wilmington, 1,300. Durham/Chapel Hill experienced the greatest percentage increase at 1.4 percent, followed by Burlington, 1.2 percent; Wilmington, 1.1 percent; and Asheville, 0.9 percent. It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted series.
Over the year, employment rose in 12 of 15 MSAs. Charlotte/Concord/Gastonia, NC-SC had the
 largest net employment increase at 35,500, followed by Raleigh, 16,700; Durham/Chapel Hill 6,800; Asheville, 3,900; and Greensboro/High Point & Hickory/Lenoir/Morganton, 3,400. Charlotte/Concord/Gastonia, NC-SC had the greatest percentage increase at 3.2 percent, followed by Raleigh & Wilmington, 2.8 percent; and Burlington, 2.5 percent.
Source: North Carolina Department of Commerce.