Asheville-Buncombe records lowest unemployment rates in the state

From the N.C. Dept. of Commerce.
From the N.C. Dept. of Commerce.
From the N.C. Dept. of Commerce.

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.

From the N.C. Dept. of Commerce.
From the N.C. Dept. of Commerce.

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).


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About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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7 thoughts on “Asheville-Buncombe records lowest unemployment rates in the state

  1. Could you post a N.C. map of the last Presidential Election along side of this map? Is there any correlation between voting results and current unemployment rate?

    • Lulz

      LOL, you mean the national average labor participation rate of just 62% of working age adults is progress lulz? Oh, you must mean those bogus government numbers that leave that out LOL? Or locally do you mean people that are students or transients and pay no property taxes, will not settle here, nor can ever make up for the low wage jobs lulz?

    • AVL LVR

      Scotland county with the highest unemployment rate in the state voted democrat. Watauga and Henderson counties (along with Polk, Madison, Haywood and the rest of the WNC counties) voted Republican.

      • AVL LVR

        Also on the highest unemployment list, Wilson and Edgecombe (voted Obama by 68%) counties voted democrat in the last presidential elections. Out of the 4-5% unemployment range, 13 out of 19 counties (or 68%) voted Republican.

        Thank you Tom for pointing out that Republicans have better unemployment rates.

  2. hauntedheadnc

    And just think how much better those numbers would be if everyone didn’t have to work three jobs apiece to afford Asheville housing!

    • Lulz

      LOL. Better yet, how can one count students in service sector jobs as beneficial to anyone lulz?

  3. Big Al

    I stopped trusting government stats on unemployment when I learned that they were generated by the number of people applying for unemployment benefits. These numbers do not include the unemployed who no longer apply for benefits, and that includes a LOT of folks who used up all of their allotted months back during the recession.

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