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Labor Market Update

Region has 6,274 more people working compared to one year ago.

Unemployment rate in Mountain Area region was 2.7% as of September 2023. As of September 2023, 6,274 more people working compared to September 2022.

Unemployed Individuals by month (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties):

September 2023 6,987

August 2023 7,702

July 2023 7,470

June 2023 7,551

May 2023 6,752

April 2023 6,466

March 2023 6,916

February 2023 6,696

January 2023 6,808

December 2022 6,285

November 2022 6,781

October 2022 7,343

September 2022 5,953

August 2022 6,938

As of September 2023, the Asheville metro has a record number of jobs, people working and number of people in the labor force.

Note there are some statistical disparities between the data reported for the Asheville metro and the Mountain Area Workforce region as the metro includes Haywood County but does not include Transylvania County. The Mountain Area Workforce region includes Transylvania County but not Haywood County.

Total Labor Force 229,587

Total Employed Labor Force 221,681

Mountain Area WDB Regional Labor Market Overview

Mountain Area WDB Overview | LEAD Analytics

September 2023 Labor Market Overview

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Asheville MSA Jobs

Mountain Area WDB Labor Force

Mountain Area WDB Employed Individuals

Mountain Area WDB Unemployment Rate

Mountain Area WDB Unemployed Individuals

Asheville MSA Jobs

Asheville MSA Industry Jobs Compared to One Year Ago

Mountain Area WDB Job Openings

Mountain Area WDB Taxable Retail Sales

Asheville metro unemployment rate holds at 2.9%, AVL metro continues it's record touting the lowest unemployment rate of any NC metro

Asheville metro now (as of September 2023) continues to have the lowest unemployment of any NC metro at 2.7%. This rate is down 0.1% from the metro unemployment rate of 2.8% of one year ago. All counties in our region have an unemployment rate at or lower than the statewide rate of 3.3%. Buncombe and Swain Counties continue to have the lowest unemployment rate of any NC county at 2.5%. Henderson is tied for the #3 lowest unemployment rate of any NC at 2.8%.

Buncombe 2.5%

Haywood 2.9%

Henderson 2.8%

Madison 2.9%

Transylvania 3.1%

Monthly job growth by metro:


  1. Jacksonville 0.5%
  2. Winston Salem 0.5%
  3. Goldsboro 0.2%
  4. Asheville 0.0%
  5. Burlington 0.0%
  6. Charlotte/Concord/Gastonia 0.0%
  7. Greensboro-High Point 0.0%
  8. Greenville 0.0%
  9. New Bern 0%
  10. Rocky Mount 0.0%
  11. Durham/Chapel Hill -0.1%
  12. Hickory -0.1%
  13. Raleigh -0.1%
  14. Fayetteville -0.2%
  15. Wilmington -0.5%

Asheville metro All Employees (Total Individuals Working) 207,900 record high in September 2023

Asheville Metro Labor Force 245,711 (Total Individuals Working or Seeking Employment) record high in September 2023

Celebrating Hire a Veteran Week

A3 Education & Workforce Symposium - Land of Sky P20 Council

On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, you are invited to the region’s first Educational and Workforce Symposium. The A3 Event (Align, Aspire, Achieve) will focus on our region’s innovative practices for educational attainment, and was planned by six local organizations alongside two statewide organizations. Register Now!

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Around 500 job seekers attend the WNC Career Expo

Over 100 employers participated in the WNC Career Expo on Wednesday, October.25 at the WNC Agricultural Center.

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Click HERE for WNC Career Expo photos

October 2023 NC Economy Watch: Despite Recent Plant Closures, Layoffs Remain Relatively Uncommon

In this edition of NC Economy Watch, we look at layoff activity in North Carolina. Recent plant closures have rocked local communities and dominated headlines across our state. While these mass layoffs might reflect weakness in parts of the manufacturing sector, they have had only a limited impact on statewide employment statistics and, so far, they do not appear to be signaling a recession.

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Workers Are Doing Less Work for the Same Pay

Employers are offering more paid time off in a strong labor market. Employees are using it.

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Six Recent Enhancements to NCcareers You May Have Missed!

NCcareers.org is where career explorers can find up-to-date NC specific career information to meet their personal and professional needs, interests and goals. The site has recently received a complete data refresh based on the most recent definition of occupations and educational programs - using the latest BLS SOC and US Department of Education CIP taxonomies.

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Workers Keep Getting Big Raises, Just Not as Much as Last Year

Wage and benefits increases have eased but remain strong as central bank officials tackle high inflation.

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Toyota Announces Additional 3,000 Jobs, $8 Billion Investment in Randolph County Battery Manufacturing Site

Toyota has announced plans to invest an additional $8 billion in its electric battery manufacturing site in Randolph County, including hiring another 3,000 employees. This historic announcement comes on the heels of Governor Cooper's meeting with Toyota President Koji Sato during the SEUS/Japan Conference in Tokyo earlier this month.

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When will N.C. school employees see pay raises?

The new state budget gave raises ranging from 3.6 to 10.8% for teachers over the next two years. Teachers can expect their raises by January.

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Upstate company to invest $30 million in new lodging development outside Brevard

An Upstate company plans to build a $30 million lodging development just outside Brevard.

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Report highlights disparities for Black students in policing in schools

A new report says Black students in NC are more likely to face disorderly conduct charges and referrals to law enforcement than their white peers.

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NC School Districts, Universities Partner to Combat Pandemic Learning Loss through Research

Sixteen North Carolina public school districts have been selected to join the North Carolina Recovery Practitioners Network, where they will work together with education researchers to develop recovery-focused interventions and evaluation plans to tackle some of the most pressing issues impacting schools and districts

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Transylvania County Students Celebrate Manufacturing Day 2023 - Transylvania Economic Alliance

Manufacturing industries play a critical role in local economies, and the foundation of connecting future generations of Transylvania County residents with career opportunities at local manufacturers was built on Wednesday, October18th. Over 65 students from Brevard and Rosman High Schools toured four different manufacturers throughoutTransylvania County celebrating "Manufacturing Day."

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12 School Districts Earn $800,000 in Grants for Coding & Mobile App Development

This year, a dozen North Carolina school districts will benefit from a total of $800,000 in grants aimed at developing student skills in computer science through coding.

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Advanced Manufacturing at Blue Ridge Community College (Full)

In the innovative field of advanced manufacturing, Blue Ridge Community College graduates shine! We can prepare you for a high-tech, rewarding career in leading advanced manufacturing companies. You'll also enjoy hands-on work and problem solving in the high demand fields that move modern life forward.

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