Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — The unemployment rate improved slightly in Iredell County in May to 13.7 percent, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce.

There are 11,919 unemployed individuals in Iredell County, which has a labor force of 87,262.

The slight improvement in Iredell — by .4 percent — bucked the statewide trend, according to stats released Wednesday. Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 65 of North Carolina’s counties in May, decreased in 34, and remained unchanged in one.

Swain County had the highest unemployment rate at 19.7 percent, while Bertie and Chowan Counties each had the lowest at 8.1 percent.

Nine of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases, five decreased, and one remained unchanged. Among the metro areas, Asheville had the highest rate at 16.1 percent and Goldsboro had the lowest at 10.1 percent.

The May not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 12.7 percent.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates increased in all 100 counties. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in May by 126,694 to 4,224,833, while those unemployed increased by 31,903 to 617,073.

Since May 2019, the number of workers employed statewide decreased 660,445, while those unemployed increased 420,633.

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