he Asheville area unemployment rate jumped yet again in July, though the increase was less than in most of the rest of the state.
In July, the metro area (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties) saw the jobless rate climb to 5.4 percent from 5 percent in June. That was identical to the Raleigh/Cary metro area. All other metro areas saw steeper rates of unemployment, according to the latest statistics from the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
The statewide jobless rate for July was 6.8 percent, up from 6.2 percent.
Taken individually, each of the counties in the Asheville area saw increases in July, with Buncombe’s unemployment hitting 5.2 percent, Henderson (5.3 percent), Haywood (6 percent), and Madison (5.6 percent).
Unemployment rates increased in 97 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in July, according to the ESC.
“North Carolina had a large increase in the labor force throughout many of the state’s counties during July, however unemployment also rose,” said ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. “Much of the increase is attributed to the significant number of people entering and re-entering the labor force, which could be a sign that workers believe jobs are out there and they are actively looking. We were encouraged by the large number of workers, 31,435, who found employment in July.”
— Hal L. Millard, staff writer