The local unemployment rate took a dramatic leap in November, based on the latest statistics from the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
The Asheville metro area (Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, and Madison countis) saw its aggregate rate jump to 6.2 percent in November from 5.2 in October.
All four counties saw significant individual rate spikes, with Haywood experiencing the biggest rise in unemployment, jumping to 7.1 percent from 5.6 percent. Buncombe’s rate rose from 5.1 percent to a full 6 percent. That was only slightly better than Henderson County’s 6.1 percent and Madison County’s 6.6 percent.
In all, each of the state’s 100 counties saw unemployment rise in November. The statewide jobless rate currently stands at 7.9 percent.
“Manufacturing, retail trade and services sectors have been hit hard during this national and worldwide economic slump,” says ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. “Retail trade was down because many employers did not take on more workers during the holiday season as they have in the past. Also, textile and furniture manufacturing continue to struggle in the global economy.”
In the Asheville metro area, only the Trade, Transportation & Utilities and Educational & Health Services sectors saw any positive job growth in November, gaining a total of 300 jobs. Hardest hit was the Professional & Business Services, which shed 1,000 jobs, along with Leisure & Hospitality, which lost 400.
— Hal L. Millard, staff writer