Burke County’s unemployment rate fell nearly 2 percent from July to August after spiking earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county’s rate was 6.3 percent in August, down from 8.2 percent in July, according to data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. During the same period in 2019, unemployment in the county was at 4.1 percent.
That means that of the 37,685 people in the labor force in Burke County, 2,392 of them are still looking for work, according to the state commerce department.
Unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties in the state in August, according to the department. Burke ranked 50th of the 100 counties in the state for unemployment in August.
Burke’s rate for August came in lower than the other counties in the Unifour, which consist of Catawba, Caldwell and Alexander counties.
Burke came in just under Alexander County, which had a rate of 6.4 percent in August. But Alexander County has less than half of the labor force of Burke.
Catawba County had a rate of 7 percent for August, with it having nearly twice the labor force of Burke.
And Caldwell County’s unemployment rate for August was 7.3 percent. It has a labor force of about 3,800 less than Burke.
Unemployment also fell in the metropolitan statistical areas of the state, including the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metro area.
The metro area saw a rate of 6.8 percent in August, down from 9 percent in July, according to the commerce department.
In the metro area, the government sector added 1,900 jobs during the period. The trade, transportation and utilities sector added 300 jobs, and the education and health services sector added 100 jobs during the period.
The leisure and hospitality sector, which has taken a big hit during the COVID-19 shutdown, lost 200 jobs between July and August, and the information sector lost 100 jobs, according to the commerce department.
The commerce department is expected to release the state’s unemployment rate for September on Oct. 20.
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