GREENVILLE, N.C. (Stacker.com) — Unemployment rates, while significantly lower than the alarming pandemic peak of 14.7% experienced in April 2020, remain a subject of concern, notably as economic experts bandy around the idea of a potential recession by 2023.

The last economic recession—the Great Recession of 2008-2010—sent rates up to 10% as of October 2009. It was not until the spring of 2019 that unemployment finally went down to the same level it sits at now.

As of May of this year, national unemployment is at 3.6%—as it was in both March and April, marking a three-month stagnation—following a steady drop since that aforementioned COVID-affected peak. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state demonstrate a rather sizable spectrum, ranging from just 1.9% in Nebraska and Utah, to 5.3% in New Mexico and 5.8% in the District of Columbia. Further breakdown by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows yet another county-based spectrum within each state.

To that end, Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rate in North Carolina using data from the BLS. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in April 2022, which as of this writing is the most current Bureau data.

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#50. Mecklenburg County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.41%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.8%
– Total labor force: 639,402 (21,831 unemployed)

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#49. Alleghany County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.44%
— 1 month change: +0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.3%
– Total labor force: 4,221 (145 unemployed)

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#48. Rowan County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.45%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.1%
– Total labor force: 66,414 (2,294 unemployed)

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#47. Forsyth County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.46%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.7%
– Total labor force: 186,426 (6,453 unemployed)

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#46. Wilkes County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.46%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -1.3%
– Total labor force: 26,948 (933 unemployed)

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#45. Person County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.46%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.7%
– Total labor force: 19,083 (661 unemployed)

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#44. Clay County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.47%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.5%
– Total labor force: 4,037 (140 unemployed)

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#43. Cherokee County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.47%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -1.6%
– Total labor force: 10,780 (374 unemployed)

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#42. Beaufort County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.53%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -1.2%
– Total labor force: 20,020 (706 unemployed)

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#41. Polk County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.55%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.1%
– Total labor force: 9,187 (326 unemployed)

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#40. Gaston County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.61%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -1.8%
– Total labor force: 112,452 (4,059 unemployed)

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#39. Lenoir County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.61%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.3%
– Total labor force: 27,159 (981 unemployed)

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#38. Caswell County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.63%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.8%
– Total labor force: 9,756 (354 unemployed)

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#37. Chowan County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.63%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.5%
– Total labor force: 5,647 (205 unemployed)

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#36. Wayne County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.72%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.4%
– Total labor force: 51,381 (1,911 unemployed)

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#35. Pitt County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.72%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.4%
– Total labor force: 89,678 (3,339 unemployed)

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#34. Harnett County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.78%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.6%
– Total labor force: 54,659 (2,067 unemployed)

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#33. Cleveland County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.79%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.7%
– Total labor force: 48,684 (1,845 unemployed)

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#32. Onslow County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.84%
— 1 month change: +0.0%
— 1 year change: -1.4%
– Total labor force: 67,132 (2,576 unemployed)

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#31. Mitchell County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.85%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.4%
– Total labor force: 5,902 (227 unemployed)

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#30. Rockingham County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.86%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 39,675 (1,531 unemployed)

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#29. Lee County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.94%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.6%
– Total labor force: 25,988 (1,025 unemployed)

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#28. Pasquotank County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.95%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.4%
– Total labor force: 16,416 (649 unemployed)

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#27. Guilford County

– Current unemployment rate: 3.96%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 261,770 (10,361 unemployed)

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#26. Perquimans County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.06%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -1.4%
– Total labor force: 4,904 (199 unemployed)

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#25. Martin County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.27%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.5%
– Total labor force: 8,727 (373 unemployed)

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#24. Bladen County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.29%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -1.4%
– Total labor force: 14,030 (602 unemployed)

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#23. Northampton County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.36%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -2.0%
– Total labor force: 7,173 (313 unemployed)

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#22. Dare County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.38%
— 1 month change: -1.6%
— 1 year change: -2.0%
– Total labor force: 18,715 (820 unemployed)

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#21. Brunswick County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.38%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -1.8%
– Total labor force: 56,550 (2,478 unemployed)

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#20. Columbus County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.55%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -1.8%
– Total labor force: 23,078 (1,051 unemployed)

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#19. Anson County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.59%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -1.5%
– Total labor force: 10,283 (472 unemployed)

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#18. Bertie County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.64%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -1.5%
– Total labor force: 7,312 (339 unemployed)

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#17. Hoke County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.70%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 20,463 (961 unemployed)

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#16. Rutherford County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.74%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.7%
– Total labor force: 24,240 (1,149 unemployed)

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#15. Hertford County

– Current unemployment rate: 4.87%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.2%
– Total labor force: 8,561 (417 unemployed)

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#14. Nash County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.04%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -1.6%
– Total labor force: 41,812 (2,107 unemployed)

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#13. Cumberland County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.14%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 129,100 (6,641 unemployed)

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#12. Washington County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.21%
— 1 month change: -0.5%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 4,241 (221 unemployed)

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#11. Graham County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.35%
— 1 month change: -0.9%
— 1 year change: -1.4%
– Total labor force: 2,971 (159 unemployed)

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#10. Wilson County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.45%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -1.6%
– Total labor force: 33,312 (1,814 unemployed)

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#9. Richmond County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.56%
— 1 month change: -0.5%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 16,406 (912 unemployed)

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#8. Tyrrell County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.60%
— 1 month change: -1.1%
— 1 year change: -1.3%
– Total labor force: 1,249 (70 unemployed)

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#7. Hyde County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.70%
— 1 month change: -3.0%
— 1 year change: -0.8%
– Total labor force: 1,772 (101 unemployed)

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#6. Halifax County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.77%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -1.9%
– Total labor force: 19,138 (1,105 unemployed)

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#5. Robeson County

– Current unemployment rate: 5.84%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -1.7%
– Total labor force: 48,260 (2,816 unemployed)

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#4. Vance County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.08%
— 1 month change: -0.5%
— 1 year change: -2.0%
– Total labor force: 16,905 (1,028 unemployed)

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#3. Warren County

– Current unemployment rate: 6.15%
— 1 month change: -0.6%
— 1 year change: -1.8%
– Total labor force: 6,469 (398 unemployed)

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#2. Scotland County

– Current unemployment rate: 7.29%
— 1 month change: -0.7%
— 1 year change: -2.3%
– Total labor force: 11,052 (806 unemployed)

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#1. Edgecombe County

– Current unemployment rate: 7.44%
— 1 month change: -0.4%
— 1 year change: -1.2%
– Total labor force: 20,214 (1,504 unemployed)