3 counties above statewide unemployment rate

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Shown here is the state's map outlining the jobless rates in North Carolina's 100 counties.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Monday, October 2, 2017

Three Albemarle counties posted unemployment rates higher than the state average for August.

In North Carolina, the unemployment rate for August was 4.5 percent, which was the same as July. Looking at Albemarle counties, Perquimans posted a 5.5 percent jobless rate, which was followed by Pasquotank and Chowan at 5.4 percent each.

Of those three counties’ jobless rates, Perquimans and Pasquotank are unchanged from July, while Chowan only experienced a tenth of a percent decrease.

Meanwhile, Gates County’s jobless rate remained unchanged from July, but still came in below the statewide average, in posting at 4.4 percent for August.

Camden County is just over the statewide average at a 4.6 percent jobless rate for August, thanks to a tenth of a percent increase from July.

Camden’s neighbor, Currituck, also experienced a tenth of a percent increase from July, but still came in below the statewide average for August, in posting a 4.2 percent jobless rate.

Additionally, Currituck has long benefited from in part being just on the North Carolina side of the economy of Virginia’s Hampton Roads area.

The jobless rate in the Albemarle region’s chief tourism-driven county, Dare, remained unchanged from July, at 3.8 percent for August, but that 3.8 percent also came in as the third lowest jobless rate in North Carolina.

As has been the trend in North Carolina, Buncombe County, home of a revitalized downtown Asheville, continues to post the state’s lowest jobless rate, at 3.4 percent for August. Alexander County, which is in the western part of the state, came in second and just ahead of Dare at 3.7 percent.

Scotland County, located southwest of Fayetteville, continues to have North Carolina’s highest jobless rate, as showing by a posting of 7.7 percent for August.

Many places along or east of the Interstate 95 corridor, as shown by Edgecombe, Halifax, Wilson and Northampton, are among those counties posting the state’s highest jobless rates behind Scotland County.

Statewide, unemployment rates increased in 26 of North Carolina’s counties in August, decreased in 25 and remained unchanged in 49.

Overall, N.C. Commerce officials did cite concerns, including a slowdown in job creation. The officials said that is because the year-over-year job growth has remained positive but has lagged a bit since autumn 2016.

The good news, the officials said, is throughout the past 12 months, the number of total jobs in North Carolina has increased 1.6 percent, compared to 2.4 percent over each of the previous two years.