Unemployment rates for November 2014, the most-recent data available. Map courtesy of the N.C. Division of Employment Security

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Did you lose your job in November?

According to the state unemployment office’s monthly data release, the month of November 2014 — which is the most recent numbers available — show that seven of the 18 westernmost counties of the state saw a slight uptick in joblessness compared to October. In four others, unemployment was the same as the previous month.

As in months past, the region was home to drastic differences in unemployment, data from the N.C. Division of Employment Security.

For example, Graham County topped the state’s 100 counties for the area struggling most with unemployment. It saw a double-digit rate of 11.4 percent. Only two counties in the state — Graham and Scotland — posted double-digit unemployment.

But going east, the story is much different. Buncombe County had a rate of 3.8 percent. That was just below the state’s lowest rate, which was 3.7 percent in Chatham County. And when comparing the state’s 14 metro areas, the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area’s unemployment was the lowest in the state, at 4.0 percent. That was down .1 percent from October and 1.2 percent from November 2013. The Asheville MSA is comprised of Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties.

The statewide unemployment rate for December 2014 is expected to be released on Jan. 27. The national unemployment report for December is expected to be released today, Friday.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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