With modest job gains, the Asheville metropolitan area saw unemployment drop to 7.5 percent in November — the second-lowest in the state — while unemployment in Buncombe County declined to 7.2 percent, according to numbers released by the state’s Division of Employment Security.
The area — consisting of Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties — gained around 300 jobs in November, with jobs in education and health helping to offset losses in manufacturing and construction. Buncombe’s unemployment dropped from 7.5 percent in October to 7.2 percent in November. Henderson County’s unemployment dropped from 7.6 percent to 7.4 while Haywood County’s declined from 8.5 percent to 8.4. Madison County, however, saw an increase, from 8.7 to 8.9 percent.
Buncombe had the fourth-lowest unemployment in the state, while only the Durham/Chapel Hill metropolitan area had lower unemployment than the Asheville area. The employment numbers are not adjusted to reflect seasonal shifts in employment.