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Originally published: 2014-07-07 11:40:43
Last modified: 2014-07-07 11:41:26

Watauga unemployment up in May

by Anna Oakes

The Watauga County unemployment rate rose in May after a series of declines, up to 6.3 percent from 5.6 percent in April, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce.

The rate in May 2013 was 7.5 percent.

The department reported that 1,505 Watauga County residents -- out of a labor force of 24,028 -- were unemployed in May. The figure does not include residents who have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer looking for work.

In surrounding counties, the May unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in Ashe, 7.3 percent in Avery, 7.5 percent in Caldwell and 7.5 percent in Wilkes.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 92 North Carolina counties in May, decreased in seven and remained unchanged in one. All 14 of the state's metro areas experienced rate increases.

Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 12.7 percent, while Currituck County had the lowest at 4.6 percent.

Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount at 9.8 percent experienced the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest at 5.1 percent. The May not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 6.6 percent.