LAURINBURG — Scotland County is back on top of the statewide unemployment rankings, tying with Graham for the highest rate at 11.7 percent, according to rankings released this week by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
In July, Scotland was one of four North Carolina counties with a double-digit unemployment rate. The state average was 6.3 percent, with Buncombe the lowest at 4.8 percent.
Scotland County’s unemployment rate remained steady from June to July, but has come down slightly since last year, from 12.5 percent in July 2014.
In the last 12 months, the jobless rate has fluctuated constantly, bottoming out at 9.6 percent in December, rising to 11 percent in January, and falling back down to 9.9 percent by April.
As of July, 1,381 Scotland County residents are classified as unemployed, down from 1,544 in July 2014 and 1,400 in June of this year.
Among neighboring counties, Richmond County had an 8.7 percent unemployment rate in July, Robeson was at 9.5 percent, and Hoke 8.7.