State and local unemployment rates continue to climb, according to new figures from the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina. The data, from December 2008, indicates that the state’s unemployment rate went from 7.8 percent in November to 8.7 percent. Of the state’s 100 counties, 97 saw an unemployment increase from the previous month. In the Asheville metropolitan statistical area, unemployment rose from 6.1 percent to 6.7 percent.
On the national front, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, up from 6.8 percent in November.
— Jon Elliston, managing editor