Labor Market Update
February 2018
2,547  more people are working and  3 ,300 jobs were added in the region in the past year. Total regional employment is  204,097 .
Mountain Area region continues to have NC's lowest unemployment rate

For December 2017, our region (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties) continues to have the lowest unemployment rate at  3.6%  in NC, Buncombe County has the lowest rate of any county in NC at  3.4%  . Henderson County has the #5 lowest rate at 3.8%  . Madison County is at  4.1%  and Transylvania County is at  4.4% unemployment rate.
Asheville metro unemployment rate 3.6%

The Asheville metro (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison Counties) continues to have the lowest unemployment rate of any NC metro at  3.6%   . In the past year  3300   jobs were added in the metro.

In the past year since December 2016, the following sectors added jobs: Mining, Logging and Construction (500 jobs), Manufacturing (200 jobs), Financial Activities (100 jobs), Professional & Business Services (700 jobs), Education & Health Services (700 jobs), Leisure & Hospitality (1,000 jobs), Government (200 jobs) and Other Services (100 jobs). Information had no net change.

In the past year since December 2016, only the sector of Trade, Transportation and Utilities experienced a net job loss (-200 jobs).
Mountain Area Careers (MAC) highlights our region's career pathways in the Advanced Manufacturing and Hospitality & Tourism sectors

Our region has three "NCWorks Certified Career Pathways" in Advanced Manufacturing, Hospitality & Tourism and Healthcare which have been approved by the NCWorks Commission. Our Board has funding for training "Dislocated Workers" in these career pathways. To learn more contact Barbara Darby, Regional Business Services Coordinator for Mountain Area Workforce Development Board at

Jennifer at Borg Warner Thermal in Henderson County
Josh at Advanced Superabrasives (ASI) in Madison County
Yolanda at Gaia Herbs in Transylvania County
Katherine at Kanuga Conference Center in Henderson County
Leigh at GE Aviation in Buncombe County
Christian Fox: NCWorks NextGen Youth Success Story

Christian Fox began working with Goodwill’s WIOA NCWorks NextGen youth program in May 2016 when she decided that it was finally time to get serious about her education and earn a GED. She struggled for several years in low paying jobs because she didn’t have a high school diploma and she knew she wouldn’t get where she wanted to go without it. Christian studied hard, attended classes religiously, and took and passed all 4 tests within 6 months, all while working a full time job.

Meanwhile, we began discussing plans for continuing her education and she was instantly drawn to the Nurse Aide course. Christian attended night classes so that she could keep working and pick up a paid workplace experience to gain some exposure to the world of healthcare. Her hard work paid off in the summer of 2017 when she passed the course and earned her CNA license.

Christian was recognized as the 2017 Outstanding NCWorks NextGen Youth Participant for Goodwill’s WIOA program in December 2017 at the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board recognition luncheon. Her story and success stood out to many people in attendance, particularly to an HR Representative from Mission Health. Christian’s story led to a job offer at Mission Health and she will be starting in January 2018. Christian will also be continuing her education by pursuing a Phlebotomy license in spring 2018.

When asked what advice she would give to someone who needed to earn their GED or pursue more education, Christian said that it’s important to remember that your life isn’t over if you don’t do things in the order that society tells you to. If you just take the first step, you’ll find that there are plenty of people willing to help you along the way.