RALEIGH – Since last April, every one of North Carolina’s 100 counties has seen a reduction in the local unemployment rate, according to the latest data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

But while the unemployment rate decreased in 83 counties from March to April and remained unchanged in 13 counties, the unemployment rate increased in four North Carolina counties month-over month.

The news comes as the US Labor Department reports more than 11 million job openings across the U.S. while layoffs and firings are at a record low.

According to the data, the unemployment rate increased in Alleghany, Watauga, Union, and Orange County.

Layoffs, firings at record low; job openings still above 11M, feds report

In Orange County, the March unemployment rate was 2.4%, and increased to 2.6% in April.  But along with neighboring Chatham County, Orange County has the lowest unemployment rate of any county in North Carolina.

Edgecombe County had the highest unemployment rate of any North Carolina county, at 7.4%.

The lowest unemployment rate of any metropolitan statistical area in the state in April 2022 was 2.8%, in Asheville’s MSA and in the Durham-Chapel Hill MSA.  In Raleigh’s MSA, the unemployment rate was 2.9%.

The MSA with the highest unemployment rate in North Carolina is Rocky Mount, with an unemployment rate of 5.8% in April 2022.

Triangle area counties still see lowest unemployment rates in North Carolina

More workers in April

The Department of Commerce data also showed that there were nearly 5 million workers employed in North Carolina in April, with 4,927,270.  Over the month, the total number of workers in the state increased by 23,922, and since last April, there are 247,774 more employees in North Carolina.

And statewide, the number of unemployed persons decreased from last April by 71,562 and decreased from March 2022 to April 2022 by 6,924 people.  There are still 175,278 unemployed persons in North Carolina, according to the data from the Department of Commerce.

The numbers are estimates, and are not seasonally adjusted.

“[I]t is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates,” a statement from the Department of Commerce reads.

But according to the data, the state’s largest metropolitan statistical area labor force is in Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, with 1,404,748 workers and 45,336 unemployed persons, an unemployment rate of 3.2%.

In the Raleigh MSA, there are 761,114 workers and 21,707 unemployed persons.  In the Durham-Chapel Hill MSA, there are 320,710 workers and 8,911 unemployed persons.

NC unemployment rate now 3.4% – but job seekers, keep this in mind