New figures just released Friday show the Triangle jobless rate jumped from 7.5 to 7.8 percent.
The rate fell in 21 counties and was unchanged in three.
"While rates were up in most counties for May, over-the-year, we see a positive downward trend," said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. "Rates were down in 88 counties across North Carolina since May of last year. Our focus remains on growing jobs across the state as several key job announcements have been made over the past several weeks. Our employment service offices are committed to working with employers to get job seekers back to work in North Carolina."
Currituck County had the state's lowest unemployment rate in May at 5.2 percent, and Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 16.9 percent.