The most recent county data on employment from the N.C. Dept. of Commerce shows that Alexander County’s unemployment rate was just 2.8 percent during November 2020.
Alexander had a labor force estimated at 18,188 persons and 510 people unemployed during that month. Compared to rates from one month and one year earlier, Alexander had dropped significantly (rate was 3.1 percent in October 2021 and 5.6 percent in November 2020).
Nearby counties showed low rates but not quite as low as Alexander. The unemployment rates in surrounding counties were: Caldwell, 3.3 percent; Catawba, 3.1 percent; Iredell, 3.2 percent; and Wilkes, 3.3 percent. Up the road in Ashe County, the rate was only 2.6 percent. Davie County, to which Alexander is often compared in statistical reports for population size, had a rate of 3.0 percent.
Statewide, the November unemployment rate average was 3.4 percent. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 7.0 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 2.4 percent.
It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in these not-seasonally-adjusted estimates.
Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as bad weather, labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation. Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on lay-off expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed. The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.