Unemployment in the Asheville metropolitan area declined slightly in May, dropping from 7.8 to 7.7 percent, according to figures from the state Employment Security Commission. Job losses in construction in manufacturing were somewhat offset by gains in the business and hospitality sectors. However, Buncombe County saw a slight rise in unemployment, from 7.4 to 7.5 percent.
In April, the Asheville area saw a significant drop in unemployment, going from 8.2 to 7.7 percent. Buncombe declined to 7.3 percent (later revisions adjusted the number up slightly to 7.4 percent), among the lowest in the state.
While unemployment in the Asheville area — Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Haywood counties — declined by .1 percent in May, Buncombe County saw its unemployment tick upwards by the same amount. Asheville area unemployment remains among the lowest in the state. Only the Durham/Cary area, at 7.2 percent, has lower unemployment.
The figures provided by the ESC are not adjusted to remove seasonal variations in employment.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter