McDowell County reported an unemployment rate for August that was lower than the statewide average and most surrounding counties.
With the latest figures from August, McDowell County still has a below average unemployment rate compared to the statewide rate. For the month of August, McDowell reported a 5.9% jobless rate, which is almost 1 point lower than the statewide average of 6.8%.
McDowell has the 29th lowest unemployment rate among all 100 counties, according to the latest report from the N.C. Department of Commerce.
The 5.9% rate for McDowell means 1,206 were considered unemployed in August out of a labor force of 20,545.
A year before, McDowell’s jobless rate was 4.2% for August 2019.
Of the surrounding counties, Buncombe had a 7.5% unemployment rate for August, which is the one of the highest rates for the entire state. Buncombe used to report the lowest rate for all of North Carolina. That dramatic change shows the impact COVID-19 has had on Buncombe’s economy, which is heavily based on tourism, hotels, restaurants and breweries.
Avery had 5% for August while Burke had 6.3%. Yancey reported 5.6% for that month while Mitchell reported 6.5% for August. Rutherford reported an 8% rate for that month, which is also one of the highest in the state.
Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in August. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.6%, while Camden and Watauga counties each had the lowest at 4.6%. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Fayetteville and Rocky Mount each had the highest rate at 9.1% and New Bern had the lowest at 5.9%. The August not seasonally adjusted state wide rate was 6.8%, according to the news release.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in August by 22,848 to 4,485,131, while those unemployed decreased by 108,798 to 327,976. Since August 2019, the number of workers employed statewide decreased 379,491, while those unemployed increased 117,769.
“It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates,” reads the news release.
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