Driven by gains in the leisure and hospitality sector, Asheville metro area unemployment declined in April to 7.7 percent, down from 8.2 percent in March, according to numbers from the state Employment Security Commission. Buncombe County’s unemployment rate declined to 7.3 percent, the fifth-lowest in the state.
The Asheville metropolitan area, consisting of Buncombe, Haywood, Madison and Henderson counties, added 2,800 jobs, with the largest share coming from increases in the leisure and hospitality sector, though smaller gains were seen across most sectors, especially transportation/utilities and education/health services. Among the state’s metropolitan areas, Asheville currently has one of the lowest unemployment rates, tied with Raleigh/Cary. Only Chapel Hill/Durham, at 7 percent, had lower unemployment.
Buncombe County itself also saw an improving employment situation, dropping from 7.7 to 7.3 percent unemployment, the fifth-lowest rate in the state.
The rates are not adjusted to remove seasonal fluctuations in employment.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter