North Carolina’s 6.7 percent unemployment rate for January was down 0.2 of a percentage point from December’s rate. This continues a downward trend in unemployment numbers. The national rate also decreased slightly from 6.7 percent in December to 6.6 percent in January. However locally unemployment rates increased across the board. Rates in Avery County were up from 7.5 in January to 8.4 percent, in Mitchell rates increased from 8.5 to 9.6 percent while in Yancey County the unemployment rate grew from 7.8 to 8.4 percent. Madison County saw its rate jump from 5.2 to 5.9 percent, Buncombe County’s rate was up from 4.8 to 5.2 percent and the unemployment rate in McDowell County rose from 7.6 to 8.0 percent from December to January.
The major industry in North Carolina with the largest over-the-month increase in the number of people employed was construction, at 6,400, followed by other services, 1,900; education and health services, 1,700; and information, 400. Major industries to experience decreases in employment were leisure and hospitality services, 5,600; trade, transportation and utilities, 5,300; government, 3,500; and professional and business services, 3,200. Mining and logging, manufacturing, and financial activities employment remained flat over the month.