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April jobless rate spikes in Henderson and Buncombe counties

The unemployment rate for the Asheville metro area, the lowest in the state for 61 straight months, spiked to 15.8 percent in April as the coronavirus shutdown ground the economy to a crawl.


The tourism-heavy metro area made up of Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties felt the plunge in visitors' dollars as the stay-at-home order shuttered restaurants, breweries and attractions. Buncombe County now has the fourth highest unemployment rate among North Carolina counties, at 17.5 percent, the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board said Henderson County unemployment rate skyrocketed to 13.6 percent. Madison County is at 12.4 percent and Transylvania County is at 10.5 percent. Buncombe and Henderson Counties are above the state average of 12.5 percent.

The streak has finally ended as of April 2020 for our region maintaining the lowest unemployment rate in NC. For five years Buncombe County had maintained the lowest unemployment rate and the Mountain Area Workforce region had maintained the lowest unemployment rate of any region in the state. There are 32,255 unemployed individuals in the region as of April 2020.