Despite job gains, Asheville area unemployment rose in August

Despite adding about 900 jobs, the Asheville metropolitan area saw unemployment rise in August, according to figures from the state Employment Security Commission, possibly due to formerly discouraged workers once again looking for a job. Both Buncombe County and the Asheville area saw unemployment rise from 8 percent to 8.4 percent.

While unemployment in the Asheville area — made up of Buncombe, Haywood, Madison and Henderson counties — declined in July, the area actually lost jobs, especially in the public sector. Since unemployment is based on the number of people actively looking for work, but who can’t find it, discouraged workers giving up can actually reduce the unemployment rate. Similarly, if the area is gaining jobs, people who’d given up on finding one may begin searching again, raising the unemployment rate.

However, the numbers are not adjusted to reflect seasonal job growth or loss: a major factor in the tourism-heavy Asheville area.

In August, the government sector in the Asheville area added 1,300 jobs, while the professional and business services field added another 600. However, the leisure and hospitality sector lost 700 jobs, and trade, transport and utilities lost 400. In total, the area added 900 jobs according to the SEC’s figures.

The Asheville area’s unemployment remains among the lowest of the state’s metropolitan areas: only Durham-Chapel Hill has lower unemployment.


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5 thoughts on “Despite job gains, Asheville area unemployment rose in August

  1. Jeff Fobes

    And more WNC analysis from Carolina Public Press:

    Unemployment rates rose in 11 of the 17 westernmost counties of North Carolina last month, according to data released today by the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.

    And among the counties with the highest non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in August, Rutherford and Graham counties had the third- and fourth-highest rates in the state, respectively. In Rutherford County, the unemployment rate was 14.8 percent, down 0.1 percent from July. Graham County

  2. Name a local craft brewery that received an “economic incentive” (read: corporate welfare) from city council?

  3. Kizanth

    I would be very interested to see a study done on the number of actual available jobs in the Asheville area compared to the number of unemployed workers – those receiving benefits and those not receiving benefits. As a person who has filled out/turned in so many applications the precise number is lost in a repetitive motion injury of the fingers and brain cells, I can tell you – too many places are “just taking applications” to placate job seekers.

  4. Brian

    How can you be adding jobs when the number of first time unemployment filers goes up……. sounds more like a net loss of jobs?

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