N.C.’s two smallest counties wrap up year with state’s highest unemployment rates

N.C.’s two smallest counties wrap up year with state’s highest unemployment rates

February 6th, 2023

North Carolina’s two smallest counties by population concluded 2022 with the state’s highest unemployment percentages, and three of the four counties to see increases in jobless claims in December were in northeastern North Carolina.

According to the latest jobs report from the N.C. Department of Commerce, the average not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.2 percent in December.

Tyrrell County had the highest unemployment rate at 7.1 percent, with 86 people out of an eligible workforce of 1,217 filing a claim in December. Hyde County was second highest jobless rate at 6.9 percent (119 of 1,736).

Hyde’s unemployment rate went up 1.9 percent from November to December, tied with Alleghany for the biggest jump in the state, while Tyrrell was up 1.8 percent. Dare County increased in December by 0.4 percent (803 of 18,048) from 4.0 percent in November.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

Buncombe, Greene, Orange and Watauga counties each had North Carolina’s lowest at 2.5 percent in December, while Gates was lowest in the region at 2.8 percent, followed by Currituck and Camden (3.0) and Chowan (3.6).

All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 5.0 percent while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest at 2.5 percent.

The three Outer Banks counties (Currituck, Dare, Hyde) experienced a 2.8 percent decline in the total eligible workforce in December, down 981 workers from November to 34,184. The 12-county region’s workforce declined by 1.7 percent, with 1,545 fewer workers then the previous month (91,839).

For the year, the region’s eligible workforce declined by only 0.6 percent from 92,811 to 91,838. The Outer Banks counties experienced a 0.4 percent decline, dropping from 34,184 to 34,064.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in December by 13,301 to 4,909,662, while those unemployed decreased by 9,893 to 160,692. Since December 2020, the number of workers employed statewide increased 199,479, while those unemployed decreased 146,441.

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