County jobless rate rises

Jan. 31, 2013 @ 07:30 AM

Most of the counties in North Carolina saw their unemployment rates increase for December 2012 according to a report from the Department of Commerce.

On Wednesday the state reported that unemployment numbers increased in 97 of the state’s 100 counties.

In Rutherford County  the unemployment rate increased by 0.9 percentage points over the month to 13.6 percent. Of the county’s 27,290 members of the eligible workforce, 3,707 were reported unemployed in December.

The state’s unemployment rate was 9.5 percent for December.

Despite the increase over the month, the county’s unemployment rate was 1.0 percentage points lower than December 2011. Rutherford County was not among the top five counties with the highest unemployment rate for the second consecutive month. However, Rutherford placed sixth, tied with Halifax and Mitchell counties.

Graham County recorded December’s highest unemployment rate at 18.5 percent, increasing 2.1 percentage point from the previous month. Scotland County had the second-highest rate at 16.6 percent. Orange County had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, followed by Buncombe and Henderson, at 7.2 percent.

Unemployment in Cleveland County also increased. The December 2012 rate for the county was 10.6 percent, 0.6 percentage points higher than in November.

Polk County also experienced an increase of 0.7 percentage points over the month to 7.8 percent overall.

In McDowell County, the increase was only 0.3 percentage points over the month for a December 2012 rate of 11.0 percent.

The state reported that non-seasonally adjusted unemployment dropped in 93 counties over the year and increased in five.

The report for January 2013 statewide unemployment will be released on March 18.