CHARLOTTE -- The unemployment rate decreased or stayed the same in 74 of North Carolina's 100 counties last month even as the statewide rate rose.
The statewide unemployment rate ticked up to 9.6 percent in July but most of North Carolina's major metro areas did not see an increase. Unlike previous months, the statewide rate wasn't driven by jumps in the jobless rates in our largest cities.
The jobless rates in Mecklenburg and New Hanover counties did not change from June, while rates in Guilford and Wake counties fell slightly compared to the previous month.
Scotland County once again has the state's highest percentage of people out of work at 17.6 percent. Currituck County has the lowest rate at 4.7 percent. North Carolina has the highest unemployment rate in the southeast.
The one positive in these numbers is that pretty much across the board they are lower than they were a year ago. Although, some experts believe that's partly because some people have simply stopped looking for work.