Joblessness Jumps in January, up in all the High Country counties and the adjoining Foothills counties. of Commerce was quick to point out that, even with the dismal figures for January 2014, all 100 counties were better off that the unemployment figures of January 2013. The largest jobless jump in the area was the 1.2% increase reported in Ashe County, now at 9.5%, followed by the .9% increase in Avery, landing at 8.4%. Watauga the third highest jump of .8%, at 6.4%, while Wilkes unemployment