According to the Labor & Economic Analysis Division at the N.C. Department of Commerce, the latest numbers, from September 2015, list Buncombe as the county with the No. 1 lowest unemployment rate (at 4 percent) and Asheville, similarly, as the MSA with the lowest rate (at 4.3 percent).
Statewide, the unemployment rate sits at 5.4 percent, dropping 0.2 of a percentage-point over the last year.
Compared with the August report, these new numbers for Buncombe show a 0.6-point decline in unemployment over a one-month period.
Last year’s report shows a similar decline in the autumn months of 2014 — dropping from 4.9 in August of 2014 to 3.8 by November of that same year (and raising again from 3.9 to 4.5 between April and May of 2015).
Compared with September of last year, though, Buncombe did see an overall 0.2-point decrease and Asheville’s rate dropped 0.3 points over the last year as well.
“Over the month [of September], the unemployment rate decreased in all 100 counties,” reads the release from the N.C. Department of Commerce. “Forty-two counties had unemployment rates at or below the state’s 5.4 percent rate.”
Scotland County, in the Inner Coastal Plains, recorded the month’s highest unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, followed by Graham County to our west at a solid 10 percent — and Wilson County at 9.4.
Buncombe, at No. 1 for the lowest rate, was followed by Orange County (Chapel Hill) at 4.2 percent — and fellow Western region counties Watauga at 4.3 and Henderson at 4.4.
Unemployment rates decreased in all 15 of the state’s MSAs over the month as well — with Asheville’s numbers coming in lower than Raleigh (4.6) and Durham/Chapel Hill (4.7).