Last updated: October 07. 2013 11:49AM - 1501 Views
Dylan Lightfoot Staff Writer

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Ashe’s jobless rate dropped one full point to 9.7 percent in August, breaking the county’s 56-month trend of double-digit unemployment which began in December 2008, according to the latest figures from the N.C. Division of Employment Security (DES).

The county’s jobless rate is also down one full point over August 2012.

Of 11,879 workers in Ashe’s labor force in August, 1,147 were seeking employment.

Ashe held at 76th place on the DES county ranking for unemployment for August.

Figures for number of new claims, total number of claimants, average weekly benefit and total benefits paid in the last twelve months, which are typically included in the Jefferson Post’s monthly county unemployment report, are not currently available due to the federal government shutdown.

Among the neighboring counties, Alleghany’s unemployment rate decreased to 8.5, down 0.7 percent over July, and 0.7 percent over the year (OTY), while Avery fell to 8.6 percent, a 0.4 percent decrease for the month, and 1.8 percent over the year (OTY). Watauga County, with 7.3 percent unemployment, saw a 0.6 percent decrease in August, down 1.0 percent OTY, and Wilkes at 9.5 percent fell 0.6 percent over the month, while dropping 1.4 percent OTY.

Unemployment rates, not seasonally adjusted, decreased in 98 N.C. counties in August, increased in one — Hoke — and remained the same in one — Gates. Twelve of the state’s metro areas saw rate decreases, while one — Fayetteville — saw an increase, and one — Rocky Mount — was unchanged.

Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate in July at 15.2 percent, while Currituck County had the lowest at 4.1 percent.

All 14 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases OTY.

The August seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 8.7 percent, with N.C. ranked 44th in the nation for unemployment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Total unemployment benefits paid in the state for all programs from September 2012, to August 2013, totaled $2,259,894,424.

The federal unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent to 7.3 in August, according to the BLS.

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