Unemployment in the Hickory area continued to fall in April, according to the most recent county-level data from the state.
The unemployment rate for the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area — which includes Catawba, Burke, Caldwell and Alexander counties — fell from 4.4% in March to 4.2% in April.
This modest decrease came after a month in which the rate fell by 1%.
The rate is inching closer to pre-pandemic levels. In March 2020, before the full brunt of the pandemic was reflected in the jobs numbers, the region had an unemployment rate of 3.7%, with slightly lower rates in the preceding months.
Burke County saw the largest drop in unemployment of the four counties. Burke had a 4% rate in April, down from 4.4% the previous month.
Alexander County’s unemployment rate went up slightly from 3.9% in March to 4.2% in April.
Unemployment in Catawba County fell from 4.5% to 4.3%, and Caldwell’s rate dropped from 4.7% to 4.5%.
Kevin Griffin is the city of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.