Burke County saw a slight uptick in unemployment in December.
The county’s unemployment rate increased to 5.8%, up from 5.7% in November, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce. The unemployment rate in December 2019 was 3.2%.
Burke was among 55 counties that saw an increase in December, while 28 counties experienced a decrease and 17 remained unchanged.
A 5.8% unemployment rate for Burke means that 2,296 people of the 39,346-person workforce are looking for work.
While Burke saw a slight increase, the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical area saw a slight decrease, going from 6.1% in November to 6% in December. With a labor force of 167,580 people, 10,063 are still looking for work.
In December 2019, the unemployment rate for the metro area was 3.2%, according to the Commerce Department.
From November to December, the metro area gained 700 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and 300 each in the professional and business services sector and the leisure and hospitality sector, according to department data.
The metro area also gained 100 jobs in the manufacturing sector and another 100 in the “other services” sector.
But some sectors saw losses, including 400 jobs in the government sector and 100 in the education and health services sector, according to the department.