Local jobs picture brightens slightly in September

After a few months of steadily worsening job news, the Asheville metro area’s unemployment rate declined in September, according to the latest N.C. Employment Security Commission statistics.

The metro area (Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood and Madison counties) saw the rate dip to 5.2 percent from 5.5 percent in August. That rate tied with Durham for lowest in the state among metro areas.

In the four-county metro region, only Haywood saw an increase, from 5.6 to 5.7 percent. Buncombe held steady at 5.1 percent unemployment. The sectors in the Asheville metro area with the biggest job gains in September were: Government (2,100); Educational and Health Services (400); and, Trade, Transportation and Utilities (100)

The rest of the state was not so lucky.

Unemployment rates decreased in 77 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in September. Unemployment rates decreased in all 14 metropolitan areas statewide. Rates increased in 14 counties and remained the same in nine.

“For the second consecutive month, many of the state’s counties experienced a decline in unemployment rates,” said ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. “The impact of the national economy on our state has been far reaching. While rates are down in many of our counties in September, some counties continue to struggle with unemployment.”

Forty-five counties were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.6 percent, which decreased from 6.8 percent in August.

— Hal L. Millard, staff writer


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