Throughout Western North Carolina, joblessness dropped in October, but seven counties in the region maintained double-digit unemployment rates, according to data released by the North Carolina Division of Employment Security today.

Each of the 17 westernmost counties of the state had decreases in their non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates except Avery County, which had a rate of 9.8 percent that was unchanged from September, the state agency reported. The unemployment rates released today do not reflect seasonal employment.

With a rate of 7.5 percent, Buncombe County reported the lowest unemployment rate in Western North Carolina for October. Graham County had the highest rate of joblessness in the region with an unemployment rate of 14.1 percent.

In addition to Graham County, six other Western North Carolina counties reported double-digit unemployment rates in October — Cherokee County’s was 12.3 percent, McDowell County’s was 12 percent, Mitchell County’s was 10.2 percent, Rutherford County’s was 13.4 percent, Swain County’s was 12 percent and Yancey County’s was 11.1 percent.

North Carolina’s non-seasonally adjusted rate for October was 9.7 percent, compared with the state’s revised rate for September of 10 percent.

The October unemployment rates for the 17 westernmost counties, compared with the previous month’s rates, were as follows:

  • Avery: 9.8 percent, unchanged.
  • Buncombe: 7.5 percent, down 0.4 percent.
  • Cherokee: 12.3 percent, down 0.8 percent.
  • Clay: 9.3 percent, down 0.3 percent.
  • Graham: 14.1 percent, down 0.2 percent.
  • Haywood: 8.6 percent, down 0.2 percent.
  • Henderson:7.6 percent, down 0.2 percent.
  • Jackson: 8 percent, down 0.1 percent.
  • Macon: 9.6 percent, down 0.5 percent.
  • Madison: 8.7 percent, down 0.2 percent.
  • McDowell: 12 percent, down 0.4 percent.
  • Mitchell: 10.2 percent, down 0.7 percent.
  • Polk: 7.6 percent, down 0.2 percent.
  • Rutherford: 13.4 percent, down 0.9 percent.
  • Swain: 12 percent, down 0.3 percent.
  • Transylvania: 8.7 percent, down 0.4 percent.
  • Yancey: 11.1 percent, down 0.3 percent.

Related document

North Carolina Division of Employment Security media release about October 2011 unemployment by county.

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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