Both the number of eligible workers and the number of residents northeastern North Carolina counties that had a job declined slightly in August, while the percentage of residents filing jobless claims remained unchanged.
According to the monthly jobs report from the N.C. Department of Commerce, the 12-county region’s available workforce totaled 96,980, with 93,366 people employed during the month of August.
That’s a decline of 566 eligible workers and 541 employees in the 12 counties from July. When compared to August 2022, the eligible number of workers dropped by 43, but there were 460 more residents with a job.
In the three Outer Banks counties (Dare, Currituck, Hyde), the August drop was more pronounced with 744 fewer eligible workers (38,996 in August) and 725 less with a job (37,839) than in July (39,740 workforce, 38,564 employed).
Both the workforce (+62) and employed workers (+237) were up from August 2022.
No specific reason for the decline between July and August is identified in the state jobs report, but it does coincide with the traditional departures of high school and college students from the workforce ahead of the start of classes.
The regional unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent in August, while dropping 0.5 percent from a year ago. Jobless claims in the Outer Banks counties stayed at 3.0 percent, and declined by 0.4 percent when compared to August 2022.
Dare County tied with Buncombe County (Asheville) for the state’s second-lowest unemployment rate at 2.8 percent, while Currituck tied for fourth at 3.0 percent.
Gates (3.4 percent) and Camden (3.6 percent) are the only other northeastern counties in the 50 lowest counties. Hertford and Bertie had the region’s highest jobless percentages (4.8 percent).
Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 41 of North Carolina’s counties in August 2023, decreased in 28, and remained unchanged in 31. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 6.2 percent while Swain County had the lowest at 2.7 percent.
Seven of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases, two increased, and six remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 5.0 percent while Asheville had the lowest at 2.9 percent.