Job market recovers ... somewhat
The area job market didn’t bloom robustly in March with the onset of spring, but the employment numbers did show an improvement over February.
Unemployment rates declined from February to March in the city of High Point, all area counties and 99 of 100 counties statewide, according to figures released Wednesday by the N.C. Division of Employment Security. However, jobless levels remain at historically high benchmarks that date back to the onset of the Great Recession.
“Slightly more than three years into a statewide labor market recovery, unemployment remains widespread across much of North Carolina,” said John Quinterno, a principal with the economic research firm South by North Strategies out of Chapel Hill. “The state continues to lack enough jobs for all those who need and want work, especially those grappling with the consequences of long-term unemployment.”
The city of High Point’s unemployment rate fell from 9.5 percent in February to 9.1 percent in March. High Point reflected the general pattern in the area.
Guilford County’s jobless level dropped from 9.4 percent to 9 percent, according to the Division of Employment Security. Davidson County’s unemployment rate declined from 10.1 percent to 9.6 percent, while Randolph County’s level fell from 10.4 percent to 9.7 percent.
One positive sign is that the employment picture has improved in the majority of counties during the past year.
Between March of last year and this March, unemployment rates fell in 78 of 100 countries and in 12 of the state’s 14 metropolitan areas, South by North Strategies reports.
“Unemployment nevertheless remains elevated, with 44 counties and two metro areas posting unemployment rates of at least 10 percent,” Quinterno said. “In March 2008, in contrast, just two counties and no metro areas logged unemployment rates at or above 10 percent.”
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