Jobless Rate Increases in Raleigh-Cary, Durham, Across State

While state has added more than 101,000 jobs in past year, unemployment rate creeps upward in 98 counties.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Unemployment rates in Raleigh-Cary, Durham and every other major metro market and county increased in January.

Statewide, the jobless rate increased to 5 percent from 4.7 percent in December, according to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.

The county-by-county rate is not seasonably adjusted, so rates often differ from the statewide adjusted rate, which was 4.6 percent. Seasonal adjustment factors include weather, school schedules and holidays.

Economists consider the statewide seasonally adjusted rate the most accurate view of employment. Unadjusted rates are more likely to show sudden jumps or drops, according to the ESC.

The January statistics are not necessarily an indication of a trend, and the jump, while disconcerting, is not alarming, an ESC spokesperson explained.

“It’s really a combination of lots of things,” said Larry Parker, spokesperson for the ESC when asked about the increase. “Some of it is the end of the holidays, so some folks were being let go, and students going back to school.

“Also certain areas of the state got hit by certain things,” he added. “Some of it's weather-related. We had a mild winter. We did have construction losses in several counties.”

However, even the red-hot Raleigh-Cary job market cooled a bit, with unemployment increasing to 3.7 percent from 3.5 percent.

Durham’s jobless rate climbed to 4 percent from 3.7 percent.

The jobless rate in Fayetteville inched up to 5.6 percent from 5.1 percent.

However, the state did add more than 101,000 jobs over the past 12 months, the ESC said.

The only county to report a dip in the jobless rate was Camden. Wilkes County reported no change.

Orange County had the state’s lowest jobless rate at 3.1 percent.

Metro area jobless rates as reported by the ESC:

• Asheville — 4.0 percent, up from 3.5 percent in December.

• Burlington — 5.6 percent, up from 5.1 percent.

• Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord NC-SC — 4.8 percent, up from 4.6 percent.

• Durham — 4.0 percent, up from 3.7 percent.

• Fayetteville — 5.6 percent, up from 5.5 percent.

• Goldsboro — 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent.

• Greensboro-High Point — 5.1 percent, up from 4.7 percent.

• Greenville — 5.2 percent, up from 5.0 percent.

• Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton — 6.4 percent, up from 6.0 percent.

• Jacksonville — 4.5 percent, up from 4.4 percent.

• Raleigh-Cary — 3.7 percent, up from 3.5 percent.

• Rocky Mount — 6.5 percent, up from 6.1 percent.

• Wilmington — 4.5 percent, up from 4.0 percent.

• Winston-Salem — 4.5 percent, up from 4.2 percent.

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