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The Employment Security Commission of N.C. today released it’s unemployment rates for the state’s 100 counties, showing that, overall, July was mixed for those seeking employment across the region.

Overall, unemployment rose and fell between June and July in almost equal measure across the 17-county region, according to the agency’s numbers. Between June and July, unemployment fell in eight counties, rose in eight others and remained the same in one. Year-over-year, the results were nearly the same.

Across the region, eight counties’ rates were lower than the statewide rate. The Asheville area’s rate was also lower, at 8.1 percent, slightly lower than June’s rate of 8.3 percent.

According to the rates (download the full release here), Rutherford and Graham were the Western North Carolina counties with the highest unemployment rates in July, at 14.8 and 14.7 percent, respectively. Still, the rates were about three percentage points lower than the county with the state’s highest rate, which was eastern North Carolina’s Scotland County, where unemployment reached 17.7 percent. The statewide unadjusted rate is 10.3 percent for July.

Western North Carolina’s lowest unemployment rates were in Henderson and Polk counties, at 7.6 and 7.7 percent, respectively. Buncombe County was a close third, at 8 percent.

Job losses were mainly in the state and local educational systems, the release said.

“All metropolitan areas across North Carolina experienced a loss in government employment, mainly in educational services,” said Chairman Lynn R. Holmes.

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

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