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Labor Market Update

Region has 4,100 more people working than one year ago.

Unemployment rate in Mountain Area region was 2.9% as of August 2023. As of August 2023, 6,543 more people working compared to August 2022.

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

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

July 2022 6,562

June 2022 7,591

As of August 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 228,402

Total Employed Labor Force 221,681

Mountain Area WDB Regional Labor Market Overview

Mountain Area WDB Overview | LEAD Analytics

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment & Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient & does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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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 August 2023) continues to have the lowest unemployment of any NC metro at 2.9%. This rate is down 0.5% from the metro unemployment rate of 3.4% of one year ago. All counties in our region have an unemployment rate at or lower than the statewide rate of 3.3%. Swain County has the lowest unemployment rate of any NC county at 2.7%. Henderson has the #3 lowest unemployment rate of any NC county at 3.0%.


Buncombe 2.8%

Haywood 3.2%

Henderson 3.0%

Madison 3.3%

Transylvania 3.4%

Monthly job growth by metro:


  1. Greensboro-High Point 0.9%
  2. Asheville 0.6%
  3. Raleigh 0.5%
  4. Fayetteville 0.3%
  5. Winston Salem 0.3%
  6. Wilmington 0.3%
  7. Charlotte/Concord/Gastonia 0.2%
  8. Durham/Chapel Hill 0.1%
  9. New Bern 0%
  10. Hickory -0.1%
  11. Greenville -0.1%
  12. Rocky Mount -0.2%
  13. Goldsboro -0.2%
  14. Burlington -0.3%
  15. Jacksonville -0.9%

Asheville metro All Employees (Total Individuals Working) 236,938 record high in August 2023

Asheville Metro Labor Force 244,124 (Total Individuals Working or Seeking Employment) record high in August 2023

National Dislocated Worker Grant of WNC

Employers can take advantage of a $7.5 million National Dislocated Worker Grant to train workers who are hired as a dislocated worker. Employers can be reimbursed for up to 75% of a worker's wages for up to the first six (6) months of employment. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

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WNC Career Expo - Wednesday, October 25

Employer Registration is now open! Plan to join us Wednesday, October 25, 2023 from 11 AM – 4 PM at the Davis Event Center at the WNC Agricultural Center, located at 761 Boylston Highway in Fletcher. Presented by the Mountain Area Workforce Board and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Introducing the New North Carolina Racial Equity Dashboard

LEAD recently released the NC Racial Equity Dashboard that examines demographic and economic data by race and ethnicity statewide, as well as by county for select measures. While this blog highlights three key findings from the dashboard to get you started, we encourage you to investigate the data on your own to uncover further valuable insights.

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Why America Has a Long-Term Labor Crisis, in Six Charts

While the hot pandemic-era job market is cooling, it is set to remain tight for years

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The Job-Market Boom Is Over. Here's Why and What It Means.

Cooling demand for workers could help achieve a soft landing-lower inflation without a recession.

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Advanced Manufacturing at Blue Ridge Community College (Full Video)

In the innovative field of advanced manufacturing, Blue Ridge Community College graduates shine!

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Not Your Grandfather's Manufacturing: How North Carolina industry has changed since the 1990s

The second in a series on Manufacturing in North Carolina, this article explores the sector's economic trends over the last 30 years.

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September 2023 NC Economy Watch: Meet the New Normal, Same as the Old Normal

In our last edition of NC Economy Watch, we described some of the ways in which our economy has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this edition, we examine aspects of our economy that have not changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Has the Gender Wage Gap in North Carolina Improved Since 2019?

In honor of Women's Equality Day on August 26th, we are examining women's progress in the labor market. In this brief, we'll look at wage growth from 2019-2022 to see how women have fared in North Carolina compared to men.

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2023 National Blue Ribbon Award: Fairview Elementary

Buncombe County Schools is home to another National Blue Ribbon School! Congratulations to Fairview...

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Broadband Industry Officials Testify on Funding for Rural Areas

Broadband industry experts including Sara Nichols, Senior Planner at Land of Sky Regional Council, testified on funding for rural areas during a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

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2023 Impact Award Recipients - NADO

Land of Sky Regional Council receives three NADO Impact Awards includng one for INspire: Recovery to Career..

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Fafsa Changes Are Coming. Here's What You Should Know.

The goal is to make the college financial-aid form easier to understand and fill out, and more generous to families in need.

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Learn More Earn More

With a certificate or degree from your local community college, your earning potential soars.

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Now Accepting Interest Forms for P20 Student Ambassadors! - Land of Sky P20 Council

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North Carolina Association of Workforce Development Boards (NCAWDB) Annual Meeting

You are invited! NCAWDB presents North Carolina Association of Workforce Development Boards (NCAWDB) - Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons, Greensboro, NC.

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