While the unemployment rate held steady across northeastern North Carolina between October and November 2022, the size of the workforce in the 12-county region dropped by more than two percent and the Outer Banks counties experiencing an over four percent decline.
The N.C. Department of Commerce reported unemployment in the area remained steady for a second straight month at 4.3 percent, as 4,037 jobless claims were filed out of a total available workforce of 93,384 in November.
In the three Outer Banks counties of Currituck, Dare and Hyde, jobless rates averaged 3.8 percent to begin the traditional offseason, a 0.1 percent increase from October. Claims were filed by 1,336 members of the 35,165 workforce in the three counties.
Currituck had the lowest unemployment rate in the area at 3.3 percent in November, followed by Camden and Gates at 3.5 percent, Dare at 4 percent, Chowan 4.3 percent, Pasquotank 4.5 percent, Perquimans 4.6 percent, Bertie 4.9 percent, Hyde 5 percent, Tyrrell 5.3 percent, Hertford 5.5 percent and Washington 5.9 percent.
Compared to November 2021, unemployment was up in 9 of the 12 area counties, with Dare (down 0.2 percent), Hyde (-0.3) and Tyrrell (-0.4) the only local counties to see a drop in their rates from the previous year.
The total workforce in the 12 counties in November was 93,384, down 2.4 percent (2,256) from October. In the three OBX counties, the workforce shrank by 4.3 percent (1,592) from 36,757 to 35,165 in November.
The biggest drops in the eligible workforce in the area were in Dare (1,412 to 18,948), Pasquotank (153 to 16,466) and Bertie (128 to 7,301). Chowan was the only county in the area to see an increase in workforce in November, growing by 34 to 5,801.
Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 92 of North Carolina’s counties in November, increased in four, and remained unchanged in four.
Edgecombe County had the highest unemployment rate at 7.3 percent while Buncombe and Orange Counties each had the lowest at 3.0 percent.
All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 5.9 percent while Asheville had the lowest at 3.1 percent.
The November not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.8 percent.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in November by 26,268 to 4,922,940, while those unemployed decreased by 9,287 to 193,189.
Since November 2021, the number of workers employed statewide increased 100,977, while those unemployed increased 6,359.