Local News

Increase In State's May Jobless Rate Hits All 14 Metro Areas

Posted June 23, 2006

— North Carolina's jump in unemployment in May struck all 14 of the metropolitan statistical areas in the state, the state reported Friday.

In its monthly county-by-county and metro area analysis of unemployment, the state's Employment Security Commission found that the number of jobless increased even in Raleigh-Cary. The jobless rate increased to 3.4 percent from 3.1 percent in April.

The Raleigh-Cary metro area has had the lowest unemployment rate of any metro area in the state since November of last year.

The Durham unemployment rate hit 3.8 percent, up from 3.3 percent. Fayetteville's jobless rate increased to 5.3 percent from 4.6 percent.

Last week, the ESC attributed the jump in the state's jobless rate to 4.6 percent from 4.1 percent to an influx of college students into the job market.

Still, the state's jobless rate is well under the 5.2 percent of May 2005. The highest rate so far in 2006 was the 5.1 percent reported in February.

"Over the past year, North Carolina has seen a tremendous growth in both the labor force and employment," said ESC Chairman Harry Payne Jr. "Employment has increased by just over 105,000 since May of last year, and by 269,000 since May 2002. We continue to be encouraged by new business coming to North Carolina and existing businesses adding jobs."

According to the ESC, 4,206,115 people were working in May, an increase of 10,402 over April.

The metro area unemployment rates as reported by the ESC were:

  • Asheville - 3.6 percent, up from 3.2 percent in April.
  • Burlington - 5.2 percent, up from 4.6 percent.
  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord NC-SC - 4.6 percent, up from 4.1 percent.
  • Durham - 3.8 percent, up from 3.3 percent.
  • Fayetteville - 5.3 percent, up from 4.6 percent.
  • Goldsboro - 4.8 percent, up from 4.3 percent.
  • Greensboro-High Point - 4.7 percent, up from 4.2 percent.
  • Greenville - 5.2 percent, up from 4.5 percent.
  • Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton - 5.6 percent, up from 5.0 percent.
  • Jacksonville - 4.5 percent, up from 4.0 percent.
  • Raleigh-Cary - 3.4 percent, up from 3.1 percent.
  • Rocky Mount - 6.7 percent, up from 6.0 percent.
  • Wilmington - 3.6 percent, up from 3.1 percent.
  • Winston-Salem - 4.2 percent, up from 3.7 percent.
  • County unemployment rates in the WRAL viewing area were:

    Chatham 3.4; Cumberland 5.3; Durham 3.8; Edgecombe 8.3; Franklin 3.9; Granville 5.0; Halifax 6.7; Harnett 4.6; Hoke 5.5; Johnston 3.6; Lee 4.8; Moore 4.3; Nash 5.8; Orange 3.2; Person 6.0; Sampson 4.6; Vance 7.7; Wake 3.4; Warren 6.5; Wayne 4.8; Wilson 7.8.

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