According to the latest report from the N.C. Department of Commerce, North Carolina has a 3.3% unemployment rate, the lowest in decades.

The Tar Heel state’s unemployment rate slightly outpaces the national rate of 3.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, North Carolina is in the bottom half of states, falling closely behind its neighbors South Carolina and Georgia, whose unemployment rates are 3.1% and 3.2%, respectively.

Source: N.C. Department of Commerce

Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 5.3%.

Still, some North Carolina counties are doing worse than Nevada. Here are the five counties with the highest unemployment rates:

  • 1: Scotland County, 6.4%
  • 2: Edgecombe County, 6.1%
  • 3: Vance County, 5.6%
  • 4 (tie): Halifax County, 5.4%
  • 4 (tie): Warren County, 5.4%

North Carolina’s two largest counties’ unemployment rates were close to the state average. Wake and Mecklenburg Counties’ unemployment rates were 3.2% and 3.4%, respectively.

Here are the seven counties with the lowest unemployment rates:

  • 1: Swain County, 2.7%
  • 2: Buncombe County, 2.8%
  • 3 (tie): Avery County, 3.0%
  • 3 (tie): Chatham County, 3.0%
  • 3 (tie): Dare County, 3.0%
  • 3 (tie): Greene County, 3.0%
  • 3 (tie): Henderson County, 3.0%

One can view their county’s June 2023 unemployment rate below, courtesy of the NC Department of Commerce:

North Carolina’s unemployment rate was on the rise in the fall of 2022, reaching 3.9% in October. Seasonal fluctuations are common, according to David Rhoades, communications director at the N.C. Department of Commerce.

“It is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates,” Rhoades said.

North Carolina continues to have a labor shortage problem. The US Chamber of Commerce rated North Carolina’s labor shortage problem “More Severe” than most states, with only 59 available workers for every 100 job openings.

This pales compared to Texas, which has 95 available workers for every 100 open jobs. North Carolina does better than its northern neighbor Virginia in this category. Virginia was rated “Most Severe” and only has 47 available workers for every 100 job openings.