Asheville area gains jobs, but unemployment up

The Asheville metropolitan area gained 2,400 jobs in May, but unemployment ticked slightly upward, rising from 7.4 to 7.6 percent, according to figures from the state’s Labor and Economic Analysis division.

The jobs gains for the metro area — comprising Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, and Madison counties — come across a variety of sectors. Gains in leisure/hospitality and education/health sectors were particularly strong, but government, business, and manufacturing also showed sizable increases. No sectors lost jobs in May.

While unemployment increasing in a month of jobs growth may seem counterintuitive, unemployment can go up as an economy thaws. As unemployment figures don’t count people without jobs who are no longer looking for work, they can rise as the unemployed begin actively seeking employment again.

The Asheville area still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, only the Durham/Chapel Hill area is lower. Henderson County (7.1 percent unemployment) and Buncombe County (7.5 percent) also have among the lowest county rates. The jobs figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal shifts in employment.



Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.