The unemployment rate in Iredell County increased in March to 4 percent, up half a percentage point from February.

According to the latest figures from the N.C. Department of Labor, Iredell County has a workforce of 89,023 individuals. Some 3,547 residents were unemployed in March.

The number of unemployment claims is expected to increase significantly in April, when local businesses began laying off workers in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment data for April will be released on May 22.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 97 of North Carolina’s counties in March, decreased in two, and remained unchanged in one.

Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 13.1 percent, while Buncombe, Alexander and Orange Counties each had the lowest at 3.4 percent. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases in March.