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Burke sees uptick in joblessness
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Burke sees uptick in joblessness

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Burke County saw its unemployment rate rise from from 6.3% in August to 6.6% in September.

Burke County saw a slight uptick in its unemployment rate in November.

The county was one of 76 counties in the state that experienced a jobless rate increase for the month, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Burke County’s unemployment rate for November was 5.8%, up from 5.7% in October. With a labor force of 39,107, that means 2,256 people are still out of work.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still having an effect on unemployment in Burke and the state.

The pandemic caused unemployment in the county, state and U.S. to skyrocket in early 2020 when many governments implemented stay-at-home orders.

In November 2019, before the pandemic hit, Burke’s unemployment rate was 3.4%.

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The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical area also saw a slight increase to 6.1%, up from 6% in October. That means with 166,811 in the labor force in the metro area, 10,208 people are out of work.

The metro area unemployment in November 2019 was 3.3%, according to the commerce data.

In November, the metro area gained 200 jobs in the government sector, while the professional and businesses services sector, the education and health services sector and the leisure and hospitality sector each gained 100 jobs. The sector “other services” lost 100 jobs over the period, according to the commerce department.

There are jobs to be had in Burke County.

NC Works was showing on Wednesday that Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge has 200 job openings, while Mission Health has 103 job openings. It also showed there are 32 jobs open at Food Lions in Burke.

Burke County Public Schools has 32 job openings and Western Piedmont Community College has 19 job openings. Bimbo Bakeries in Valdese has 16 job openings, while Lowe’s Companies has 11 job openings.

To look for the jobs open in Burke County, visit

The state unemployment rate for December is scheduled to be released Jan. 26. The state rate for November was 6.1%.

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