Orange and Watauga counties had the state's lowest unemployment rate, at 4.1 percent, in October. Meanwhile, Scotland and Edgecombe counties had the highest unemployment rate, at 11.6 percent.
The five counties receiving the highest amount in unemployment insurance benefits in October were: Mecklenburg, $12 million; Wake, $8.1 million; Guilford, $5.7 million; Forsyth, $3.6 million; and Gaston, $3.4 million.
State officials say while unemployment is up slightly, they're encouraged by the numbers considering the nationwide economic picture.
"The labor force increased in October by 21,820 workers," said ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. "It's always positive when we see workers enter the labor force and find work. While the job market is tight right now, diligent efforts still can pay off when it comes to searching for work."
Unemployment rates for the state's main metropolitan areas for October were:
· Asheville - 5.2 percent, no change from September.
· Burlington - 7.2 percent, up from 7.1 percent.
· Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord NC-SC - 7.1 percent, up from 6.9 percent.
· Durham - 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent.
· Fayetteville - 6.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent.
· Goldsboro - 6.4 percent, up from 6.3 percent.
· Greensboro-High Point - 7.0 percent, up from 6.9 percent.
· Greenville - 7.2 percent, up from 7.0 percent.
· Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton - 8.4 percent, up from 8.1 percent.
· Jacksonville - 5.8 percent, no change.
· Raleigh-Cary - 5.2 percent, down from 5.3 percent.
· Rocky Mount - 9.6 percent, no change.
· Wilmington - 6.2 up from 6.0 percent.
· Winston-Salem - 6.4 percent, up from 6.3 percent.