From December through January, the Asheville area lost 3,800 jobs, and the unemployment rate rose to 10.1 percent, the highest rise in North Carolina during that time, according to statistics from the state’s Employment Security Commission.
The sharpest losses came in the construction and hospitality sectors, though the government and professional services sectors also shed significant numbers of jobs. A total of 20,517 people are unemployed, according to the statistics. Buncombe County’s unemployment rate rose from 8.3 to 9.6 percent, with 11,313 unemployed.
The Asheville Metropolitan Area measured by the numbers includes Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Haywood counties. It has shed 6,100 jobs between January this year and last.
While the Asheville area had the highest rise in the state, its unemployment rate still remains below most of the other 14 metropolitan areas, ranking 9th. Nearby metro areas with higher unemployment include Winston-Salem (11 percent) and Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, which has the highest in the state at 15.8 percent.
— David Forbes, staff writer