HICKORY — Following a statewide trend, unemployment in the Greater Hickory area decreased in May, dropping in all four of the region’s counties.
The region’s May jobless rate was 1.4 percentage points lower than it was in May 2015.
According to Wednesday’s report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division, the Hickory region’s unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in May, down from 4.8 percent in April. The region’s rate was 6 percent in May 2015.
Among the state’s 15 metropolitan statistical areas, the Greater Hickory area’s jobless rate was near the middle in May. The Rocky Mount region’s unemployment rate of 6.9 percent was the state’s highest, followed by Fayetteville at 6 percent; Greenville at 5.4 percent; Goldsboro at 5.2 percent; Jacksonville at 5.1 percent; and Greensboro-High Point and New Bern, each at 4.9 percent.
Catawba County’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in May, down from 4.7 percent in April. The rate was 5.9 percent in May 2015. The county’s jobless rate peaked at 15.6 percent in March 2009, the highest it has been since 1975.
Other area jobless rates for May were 4.1 percent in Alexander County, down from 4.3 percent in April; 4.7 percent in Burke County, down from 4.9 percent in April; and 5 percent in Caldwell County, down from 5.3 percent in April.
Compared to April, there were 410 fewer people in May considered unemployed in the Greater Hickory Metro. Compared to April, there were 168 fewer people in May considered unemployed in Catawba County.
According to Wednesday’s report, unemployment rates decreased in 98 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in May and remained unchanged in two. Fourteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases, and one remained the same.
Buncombe County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in May, 3.5 percent. Scotland County had the highest jobless rate, 8.6 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in May, down from 5 percent in April.