- Written by Steve Frank
November unemployment dropped in four of six area counties, including a drop in Watauga that landed the countys rate at under 6%. The .6 of a percent drop landed Wataugas rate at 5.7%, one of the few counties with rates in the 5 to 6 percent range. Another university town had the lowest rate in the state Orange with 4.3% unemployed, one of three counties in the state with an under 5% rate. Alleghany and Avery showed increases in their unemployment rates7.5% in Alleghany, up .2%,8.2% in Avery, up .4%while Ashe unemployment dropped .6 of a percent, landing at 8.1%, Caldwell dropping .8% to 7.5%, Wilkes dropping .7% to 7.8%.