Business

Unemployment rises in N.C. metro areas, most counties

Posted June 26, 2009 10:12 a.m. EDT
Updated June 26, 2009 4:37 p.m. EDT

— May's unemployment rate increased in 82 of North Carolina's 100 counties and topped 8 percent in Triangle metro areas, according to new numbers Friday from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.
Rates decreased in 16 counties and remained the same in two.

"All of the state's 100 counties continue to be challenged by this recession," ESC Chairman Moses Carey Jr. said in a news release.

The Triangle's brightest spot was Orange County, whose unemployment rate of 6.7 percent was among the lowest in the state. Still, unemployment in Orange County jumped nearly 1 percent from April.

The unemployment rate ranged from 6.3 percent in Currituck County to 17.2 percent in Scotland County. Seventy-two counties' rates crested at 10 percent, and 54 counties were higher than the state's record unemployment rate of 11.1 percent in May.

Rates also rose in all of the state's 14 metropolitan areas.

The Raleigh-Cary area's rate jumped 0.6 percent to 8.9 percent, and the Durham-Chapel Hill area saw a rate increase of 0.8 percent, up to 8.1 percent. Fayetteville and Goldsboro both had an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, up from 8.4 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively. Rocky Mount was at 14.2 percent.

All but two counties in and surrounding the Triangle saw more workers join the ranks of the unemployed in May. Northampton County's rate decreased 0.4 percent to 11 percent, while Lee County's remained steady at 14.9 percent.

Wake County had an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, Durham County, 8.1 percent, Johnston County, 10.2 percent, Chatham County, 8.6 percent, Harnett County, 11.7 percent, and Franklin County, 10.6 percent.

The other county that had a lower rate than in April was Currituck, which dropped 0.7 percent.

May unemployment rates in Metropolitan Statistical Areas:

Asheville — 9.2 percent, up from 9.0 percent
Burlington — 12.2 percent, up from 12 percent
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord NC-SC — 12 percent, up from 11.3 percent
Durham-Chapel Hill — 8.1 percent, up from 7.3 percent
Fayetteville — 9.2 percent, up from 8.4 percent
Goldsboro — 9.2 percent, up from 8.7 percent
Greensboro-High Point — 11.9 percent, up from 11.1 percent
Greenville — 11 percent, up from 10.1 percent
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton — 15.4 percent, up from 14.9 percent
Jacksonville — 8.5 percent, up from 7.8 percent
Raleigh-Cary — 8.9 percent, up from 8.3 percent
Rocky Mount — 14.2 percent, up from 13.6 percent
Wilmington — 10 percent up from 9.5 percent
Winston-Salem — 10.5 percent, up from 9.7 percent.

May unemployment rates in Triangle-area counties:

Alamance — 12.2 percent, up from 12.0 percent
Chatham — 8.6 percent, up from 7.9 percent
Cumberland — 9.3 percent, up from 8.5 percent
Durham — 8.1 percent, up from 7.3 percent
Edgecombe — 15.7 percent, up from 15.2 percent
Franklin — 10.6 percent, up from 10.1 percent
Granville — 10.8 percent, up from 9.9 percent
Halifax — 14.4 percent, up from 14.2 percent
Harnett  —11.7 percent, up from 11.0 percent
Hoke — 8.5 percent, up from 8.0 percent
Johnston — 10.2 percent, 10.1 percent
Lee — 14.9 percent, same as 14.9 percent
Moore — 10.2 percent, 9.6 percent
Nash — 13.5 percent, up from 12.8 percent
Northampton — 11.0 percent, down from 11.4 percent
Orange — 6.7 percent, up from 5.8 percent
Person — 12.1 percent, up from 11.4 percent
Vance — 13.6 percent, up from 13.1 percent
Wake — 8.6 percent, up from 7.9 percent
Warren — 13.1 percent, up from 12.6 percent
Wayne — 9.2 percent, up from 8.7 percent
Wilson — 13.6 percent, up from 13.1 percent