Job picture better over year, worse in December

Jan. 30, 2013 @ 03:02 PM

Job seekers in the area and state had better opportunities overall during last year, but 2012 ended on a sour employment note in December.
Unemployment rates declined for the year across North Carolina and the region, according to figures released Wednesday by the N.C. Division of Employment Security. But rates in virtually all counties increased from November to December.
The city of High Point’s job market reflects the overall picture. The city’s unemployment rate ticked up from 9.4 percent in November to 9.7 percent in December, according to figures from the state’s job service agency. But last month’s unemployment rate was noticeably lower than the 10.6 percent rate in December 2011.
Statewide, jobless rates declined in 93 of 100 counties last year, increased in five and remained at the same level in two, according to the Division of Employment Security. By contrast, from November to December, unemployment levels increased in 97 counties, decreased in one and remain unchanged in two.
Unemployment still remains high by historic standards, said John Quinterno, principal with North by South Strategies Ltd. out of Chapel Hill.
For example, the Greensboro-High Point metropolitan area recorded a December jobless rate of 9.6 percent. In December 2007, before the Great Recession took its toll, the area’s unemployment level was 5 percent.
“Conditions have improved, but no where near back to where they were before the recession,” Quinterno said.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528