Every day, our journalism dismantles barriers and shines a light on the critical overlooked and under-reported issues important to all North Carolinians.
Before you go …
If you like what you are reading and believe in independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism like ours—journalism the way it should be—please contribute to keep us going. Reporting like this isn’t free to produce and we cannot do this alone. Thank you!
According to newly released data tracking October’s unemployment rates across the state’s 100 counties, Western North Carolina makes the headlines.
Graham County, home of Robbinsville, had the state’s highest unemployment rate for the month — 11.2 percent. It was one of three counties in North Carolina with an unemployment rate above 10 percent, where one out of every 10 workers is jobless.
But in an area located a few counties over in WNC, the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area — made up of Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties — posted a much different story for the month. The Asheville metro area recorded the lowest unemployment in the state, at 4.1 percent.
Overall, the statewide unemployment rate for the month was 5.5 percent, just below the national rate of 5.8 percent for the month.
And when considering the statewide rate, the 18-county region is nearly evenly split, falling above and below that state average. Nine counties fell below — with a total of six counties falling between 4 and 5 percent unemployment. Eight others were above — with Graham County the only one in the double-digits. One — Transylvania County — matched the statewide rate.
Overall, the data show that unemployment, compared to September 2014, fell in every county, with Graham and Swain falling one full percentage point.