Wilkes County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.3% in February to 4.4% in March, the N.C. Department of Commerce announced.

The county’s jobless rate was 4.3% in March 2020.

The state’s se March unemployment rate was 5.2%, decreasing 0.5 of a percentage point from February’s revised rate. The national rate decreased 0.2 of a percentage point to 6%.

Wilkes County’s labor force of 28,156 people this past March included 1,245 people listed as unemployed. This past February, Wilkes was listed with a labor force of 28,281, with 1,521 people unemployed. In March 2020,

Wilkes County’s labor force stood at 29,275 in March 2020, with 1,294 listed as unemployed.

Unemployment rate changes among adjoining counties from February to March included Alexander, 4.7% in February and 3.9% in March; Alleghany, 5.9% and 4.9%; Ashe, 5% and 4%; Caldwell, 5.8% and 4.8%; Iredell, 5.4% and 4.4%; Surry, 5.1% and 4.2%; Watauga, 4.3% and 3.4%; and Yadkin, 5% and 4.1%.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in March.

Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 8.9% while Orange County had the lowest at 3.2%.

All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Fayetteville had the highest rate at 6.4% while Durham-Chapel Hill had the lowest at 3.8%. The March not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.6%.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates increased in 84 counties, decreased in 11, and remained unchanged in five. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in March by 41,178 to 4,762,691, while those unemployed decreased by 50,361 to 229,665.

Since March 2020, the number of workers employed statewide increased 65,867, while those unemployed increased 35,708.

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