The Asheville metropolitan area (Buncombe, Haywood, Madison and Henderson counties) saw its unemployment rise again in June to 5 percent, up from 4.8 percent in May, according to the latest statistics from the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
Buncombe’s individual county rate climbed to 4.9 percent from 4.7 percent. Henderson’s rate increased to 4.7 percent from 4.5. Meanwhile, Haywood saw its jobless rate decrease narrowly to 5.4 percent from 5.5. Madison’s rate remained unchanged at 5.8 percent.
The pain is being felt statewide, with the jobless rate for North Carolina reaching 6 percent in June — the sixth consecutive month that the rate has increased.
Unemployment rates increased in 82 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in June. Nine counties experienced a rate decrease, while rates remained the same in nine counties.
“The effect of the national economy is being felt in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties,” said ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. “While the number of counties that had increasing rates is fewer than the previous month, we see that the rising price of gasoline is having an impact on the labor force. While our commission offices still receive job orders from employers, the pace has dropped. Even during the busy summer months, it appears employers have reduced hiring, making it a much tighter job market.”
For the second consecutive month, all 14 metropolitan statistical areas, including Asheville, experienced an unemployment-rate increase. Forty-six counties were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, which increased from 5.8 percent in May.
Total county employment (not-seasonally adjusted) increased in June by 19,441 workers from 4,297,274 to 4,316,715. Not-seasonally adjusted unemployment increased by 19,306. The unemployment total in June was 283,965 citizens compared with 264,659 in May.
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— Hal L. Millard, staff writer