The “Carolina comeback” stalled earlier this year, according to the January unemployment numbers the state reported this morning. State officials found that all one hundred North Carolina counties saw a rise in unemployment from its lowest point during the December holiday season.
The state unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, down slightly from 5.9 percent in January 2015 and up from 5.3 percent in December. (The rates aren’t seasonally adjusted, which might explain some of the volatility.) A total of 274,460 North Carolina residents found themselves out of work in January 2016.
The highest unemployment rate in January was 15.5 percent in Hyde County, and the lowest was 4.5 percent in Buncombe. Not far behind Buncombe was Wake (4.6 percent), Orange (4.7 percent), and Durham (5 percent). Wake’s unemployment rate stayed exactly where it was in January 2015, while Durham and Orange Counties saw slight upticks from 4.9 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. In terms of metro areas, Raleigh and Asheville had the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 4.8 percent, with Durham-Chapel Hill at 5 percent.
The next report, for February, is due to be released on next Thursday, March 24.