Local, statewide unemployment shoots upward

The Asheville metro area’s unemployment rose to 4.8 percent in May, a significant increase from April’s 4.1 percent. But the local rate was still better than the statewide rate, which hit a high of 5.8 percent, according to the latest statistics from the N.C. Employment Security Commission.

Unemployment rates increased in 92 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in May, according to the ESC. Six counties experienced a rate decrease while rates remained the same in two counties.

“A majority of the state’s counties experienced significant increases in May,” said ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. sounding uncharacteristically down in his monthly report. “There are a lot of new entrants into the labor force at this time of the year which is making for a very tight job market. On top of that, we could be experiencing the effect that rising energy and fuel prices nationwide may be having on employment. We continue to receive job orders from employers in our local offices while at the same time also experiencing more traffic from job seekers.”

Over the past month, all 14 of the state’s metropolitan statistical areas experienced an unemployment-rate increase. Forty-seven counties were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.8 percent which increased from 5.1 percent.

Total county employment (not-seasonally adjusted) decreased in May by 4,543 workers from 4,302,076 to 4,297,533. Not-seasonally adjusted unemployment increased by 29,688 workers. The unemployment total in May was 262,235 compared with 232,567 in April.

— Hal L. Millard, staff writer


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.

One thought on “Local, statewide unemployment shoots upward

  1. cwaster

    Not surprising- with energy and gas costs (and thus everything else) so high…

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.