Triangle's unemployment rate creeps up to 8 percent

Posted February 1, 2012


— Unemployment in the Research Triangle area increased to 8 percent in December, up slightly from November and four-tenths of a percentage point higher than a year earlier.

The seasonally adjusted rate was even higher at 8.3 percent, according to data provided by East Carolina University.

Statewide, the number of people working fell by 32,021 to just over 4 million. The number of those unemployed climbed by 12,412 to 440,022.

The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits climbed to 39,445, up 1,368 from November. A year ago, new claims were 47,056. In December 2009, initial claims totaled 54,989.

The difference in the numbers of working and unemployed includes factors such as people who have dropped out of the work force, are no longer seeking work or receiving benefits, or retired or moved out of state.

Durham-Chapel Hill market added a net 300 jobs in December, but the number of jobs was down 1,500 from a year ago.

In Raleigh-Cary, employers cut a net 300 jobs. Employment was down 7,700, or 1.5 percent, from December 2010.

Fayetteville (600) and Rocky Mount (200) added jobs in December. Goldsboro lost 200.

The jobs numbers from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division as reported Wednesday are not seasonally adjusted. Economists consider numbers adjusted for seasonal factors as a more reliable indicator of the job market’s real condition.

The unadjusted jobless rate for the Triangle in November was 7.8 percent. The adjusted rate was 8 percent.

Across the state, unemployment increased in 93 of 100 counties. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent. The adjusted rate was 9.9 percent.

Unemployment climbed in 13 of the state’s 14 major metropolitan areas. Only in Burlington did the rate decline, dropping to 9.7 percent from 10.3 percent.

The Durham-Chapel Hill metro area had the lowest rate at 7.5 percent. Raleigh-Cary's unemployment rate was 8 percent.

Rocky Mount’s rate of 12.9 percent was the highest.

The jobless rate for January will be released on March 13.


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  • Mark Hayes Feb 1, 2012

    Many of these companies could afford to pay their employees more making the economy come full circle but when you can get by force feeding salaries to individuals who have little hope anywhere else to make a living,and these outfits know this,then they take full advantage of the situation,most of these companies could pay more and bring the standard of living up for many but that would mean less in their pockets and when was the last time that ever took place.

  • storchheim Feb 1, 2012

    Ringo, I wasn't putting the jobs down or those who fill them. I was speculating that the numbers might not represent a pay grade that allows for a comfortable living. I can see how you read it that way though. Retail is hard, thankless work for the most part. Glad to hear they offer benefits.

    Again, my point was that $16k/yr won't give you the same breathing room as $45k/yr. No disrespect intended.

  • Mark Hayes Feb 1, 2012

    pm2, You are 100% correct,but the same people who give the increases also are getting one themselves,taxpayers have no control of what government state or federal employees make yet bottom line is we all pay their salaries,there are so many dept's that could be downsized and managed more effectively but outside sources that could make alterations to these areas are not going to be permitted to penetrate the veil of secrecy that they hide behind,ask them and they are all overworked but somehow manage to fit all those paid holidays and paid vactions in after using up those paid sick days,what a great job to have if you are one of them.

  • Remy Feb 1, 2012

    "Wonder if Burlington's success was due to the huge outlet mall on I85? If so, it's a lot of $8-9 hr jobs, probably part-time with no benefits."

    They do offer medical benefits. You sound as if you are putting them down, why? I am sure there are plenty of people that would like to work there.

  • pm2 Feb 1, 2012

    A government employee, on average, is paid 16% more than the same/comparable job in the public sector...AND they want MORE!!!

  • Mark Hayes Feb 1, 2012

    For all those defending state employees just stop,they do not need your support,they have the most secure jobs and actually work less years than most private sector jobs when becoming vested,I'm not talking about teachers now,there are so many other dept's in state government that stay under the radar and really serve very little purpose and could be downsized to fit the needs but who in government is goinf g to let themselves go.

  • storchheim Feb 1, 2012

    Wonder if Burlington's success was due to the huge outlet mall on I85? If so, it's a lot of $8-9 hr jobs, probably part-time with no benefits.

  • storchheim Feb 1, 2012

    "there are hardly any go-to people in state government any more because they've all retired and not been replaced."

    And they refused to share their knowledge with the newer employees because that was the only way they had job security. Management did nothing about it because that would have required effort on their part, and they weren't the ones who would have to struggle and work overtime to fix unfamiliar problems once the old hags and ogres retired, so why bother?

  • pm2 Feb 1, 2012

    Thi IS the Obama Hope....the more people he can get to NEED the government, the better.

  • davidgnews Feb 1, 2012

    No matter how much the 'authorities' and media try to gloss it over ......