Asheville-area unemployment dips slightly

Employment in North Carolina inched up in July for the sixth consecutive month, with the state gaining 6,386 jobs, according to the latest statistics from the N.C. Employment Security Commission. Total employment was 4,343,108 for the month, the ESC said.

“While county unemployment rates were mixed in July, we are encouraged by the overall continued growth in employment,” ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. said in a release.

In the Asheville metro area, which includes Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood and Madison counties, the largest job gains in July came in the information, leisure/hospitality and financial sectors. Total employment for the month was 172,500 jobs.

Among the state’s 14 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the Asheville metro area had the lowest unemployment, along with the Raleigh-Cary area, both at 3.9 percent. The figure was down slightly from June’s 4 percent.

Also in the Asheville Metro area, Henderson (3.7 percent) and Buncombe (3.8 percent) had the state’s fifth- and sixth-lowest unemployment rates, respectively, among the state’s 100 counties. Haywood and Madison counties were close behind, at four percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

Coastal Currituck County had the lowest rate at 2.7 percent. Scotland County, in the southeastern part of the state, had the highest unemployment rate in July at 11 percent.

— Hal L. Millard, staff writer

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