According to the October County and Area Employment Figures, released Dec. 9 by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Asheville area shows the fewest unemployment cases for any metropolitan statistical area in the state.
Buncombe County’s unemployment rate fell from 4.4 percent in the spring to 4.0 (4.1 when grouped with other counties included in the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which adds Madison, Henderson and Haywood).
While Asheville showed the lowest rate of any metropolitan area, Chatham County, showed the lowest number of cases in a county-by-county analysis, at 3.8 percent. Buncombe, Henderson and Orange tied for second, all at 4 percent unemployment.
Update 12:55 p.m.: In Buncombe County, 324 unemployment insurance claims were made. 191 of those were male, 131 were female, and information on gender was not available for two cases. 38 cases were filed by blacks, 258 were filed by whites — with 28 filed by persons of another race or ethnicity.
31 of those people are between the ages 20 and 24; 76 between ages 25 and 34; 77 between ages 35-44; 85 between ages 45-55; and 44 between ages 55-64. Data for those 16-19 and 65 and older were not available.
Statewide, 22,726 individuals filed claims for unemployment insurance benefits. 11,067 of those were female; 11,599 were male — with gender on 60 persons unaccounted for.
N.C.’s state average unemployment rate dropped from 6.1 percent in the April report to 5.5 percent by October. In the October 2013 report, 7.2 percent of the state’s citizens had filed an unemployment claim, dropping 1.7 percent in one year.
When compared to last year’s report, 99 N.C. counties showed a decrease in unemployment, while one county — Graham, remained the same.
“Over the month [of October],” reads a statement in the report, “the unemployment rate decreased in 98 counties, while increasing in Currituck and Dare. Thirty-nine counties had unemployment rates at or below the state’s 5.5 percent rate.”
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