Business

Jobs picture brightens a bit in Triangle, is strong in Fayetteville

Posted December 8, 2009

— Looking for work? Worried about keeping your existing job? Well, the employment picture is improving a bit in the Triangle and is especially strong in Fayetteville.

That’s the good news from the latest hiring survey report from Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter of next year.

In Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan statistical areas, Manpower projects a “modest” job market, based on its survey of employers. Unemployment stood at 8.4 percent in November.

Meanwhile, Fayetteville, where expansion programs at Fort Bragg continue, is expected to have one of the best job markets in the country, Manpower reports. Fayetteville reported 9 percent unemployment in November.

From January through March, 4 percent more employers plan to expand payroll – 13 percent overall – than those who are looking to cut workers – 9 percent.

The vast majority of firms, 74 percent, expect to keep payroll at existing levels. The remaining 4 percent aren’t sure.

In Durham-Chapel Hill, the news is not quite as good as 1 percent more of employers – or 12 percent overall – are looking to hire while 11 percent are expecting to make further reductions.

Most firms, at 74 percent, expect to keep work force levels stable. The other 3 percent are unsure.

Companies are much more optimistic in Fayetteville with 19 percent looking to hire people compared to 8 percent who expect to make cuts.

Some 69 percent of employers are looking to keep their employee numbers stable. Four percent remain unsure.

Statewide, unemployment remains among the highest in the country at 11 percent.

Nationally, the hiring picture remains bleak. With unemployment at 10 percent, some 12 percent of companies are looking to hire while the same percentage is expecting to make layoffs.

The big majority of companies, 73 percent, are anticipating no changes. Another 3 percent are unsure.

Manpower surveyed more than 28,000 companies.

The survey results didn’t surprise Dr. Michael Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University.

“These forecasts are directly in line with how economists are assessing the economy,” Walden told WRAL.com and Local Tech Wire. “There has been an increase in optimism compared to the summer, ands this is reflected in the more positive expectations for hiring in 2010. The "consensus" economic forecast suggests net job gains beginning in the first or second quarter of 2010.”

Walden added that the Fayetteville findings reflect military spending as the pentagon pours more resources into Fort Bragg as part of an ongoing base restructuring plan.

“The Fayetteville labor market has weathered the recession better than any other metro area in N.C., including the Triangle,” Walden said.

“The big reason is the important presence of the military, which has provided a recession-proof stability better than any other industry. Specifically, Fort Bragg has experienced expansion – with plans for more – in recent years.”

One finding in the survey did catch Walden off guard.

“One surprise is the lack of positive hiring plans in durable manufacturing,” he said. “This sector should be one of the first to rebound, and I would actually expect some modest job gains there in 2010, particularly in technology and high value-added products.”

In Raleigh-Cary, Manpower’s Michael Doyle noted that the job picture had improved from the previous quarter when only 6 percent of companies planned to make hires while 12 percent were expecting to make cuts.

“Employers are slightly more optimistic about hiring activity as compared to one year ago, when 13 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 11 percent expected to cut payrolls,” he said.

In Durham-Chapel Hill, however, the picture has worsened a bit.

“Compared with the previous quarter when 16 percent of companies interviewed intended to add employees, and 9 percent planned to reduce staff levels, area hiring levels appear to be weaker,” Doyle explained. “Employers are less optimistic about hiring activity as compared to one year ago, when 19 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 12 percent expected to cut payrolls.”

Manpower’s Amanda Fulp reported that the Fayetteville jobs picture is much better than last quarter and an improvement over a year ago.

“Compared with the previous quarter when 11 percent of companies interviewed intended to add employees, and 11 percent planned to reduce staff levels, area hiring levels appear to be significantly stronger,” Fulp said. “Employers are slightly more optimistic about hiring activity as compared to one year ago, when 16 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 8 percent expected to cut payrolls.”

Employment plans by sector in Raleigh-Cary:

Hiring:

  • Nondurable Goods Manufacturing
  • Wholesale & Retail Trade
  • Information
  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Other Services
  • Government

Looking to cut:

  • Durable Goods Manufacturing
  • Financial Activities
  • Professional
  • Business Services

Stable:

  • Construction
  • Transportation and Utilities
  • Education
  • Health Services

The job market outlook in Durham-Chapel Hill:

Hiring:

  • Wholesale and Retail Trade
  • Professional and Business Services
  • Leisure and Hospitality

Cutting back:

  • Construction
  • Nondurable Goods Manufacturing
  • Information
  • Financial Activities
  • Education
  • Health Services
  • Other Services

Stable:

  • Durable Goods Manufacturing
  • Transportation and Utilities
  • Government

The Fayetteville market:

Hiring:

  • Nondurable Goods Manufacturing
  • Wholesale and Retail Trade
  • Financial Activities
  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Other Services
  • Government

Cutting back:

  • Durable Goods Manufacturing
  • Transportation and Utilities

Stable:

  • Construction
  • Information
  • Professional and Business Services
  • Education and Health Services
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  • Jay4 Dec 9, 2009

    Remember Obama promised a national unemployment rate of no more than 8%......

    NC now has an unemployment rate of about 11% and the national rate is almost 11% also.

    (And the real rate of unemployment is closer to 17% as others have said....because the stats don't show those who have given up looking for jobs....and are no longer on the unemployment rolls)

    Sorry, WRAL, Sorry NC and National Dems - but you cannot fool Americans but for so long....

    The unemployment the jobless rates have SOARED (by over 100% increase) since Obama and the Congressional Dems have been in charge!

    Millions more American families/individual are hurting economically now who were not until Obama and the Dems took power.

    These millions are going to vote these job killing tax and spend Democrats into unemployment in 2010 and nothing WRAL tries to do to hide the truth will stop THAT unemployment program!

  • working for deadbeats Dec 8, 2009

    Before the post police come out, let me clarify that Obamas Healthcare plan is bad for small business. It's not good for anybody actually....

  • working for deadbeats Dec 8, 2009

    Healthcare and Cap&Trade are not good for small business. I'm still not convinced. Free Market eventually weeds out bad business. These banks should have failed..period. You give bad service and food at a restaurant..you go out of business. GM should not have been bailed out. They would have reformed and pressed on. Ford is doing great without a huge bailout...wow, imagine that.

  • OpinionOnEverything Dec 8, 2009

    "Let us know when he tries some conservative ideas. Tax breaks and not shoving socialism down our throats. Then you can say he's tried everything."

    I think we've already tried massive tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals with no regulations, plus massive government spending on wars that will continue for decades to come, plus laissez-faire national policy on health care (if you can't afford it, go to the emergency room and charge it to the middle class in the form of higher premiums--or just die early!)

    Obama is at least trying to propose tax cuts for small business which in total is the largest employer by far, middle class economic stimulus for those who spend most of their incomes, and trying to tackle the massive growth rate in health care costs and costs associated with people who lack health insurance coverage (emergency room example).

  • working for deadbeats Dec 8, 2009

    Let us know when he tries some conservative ideas. Tax breaks and not shoving socialism down our throats. Then you can say he's tried everything.

  • ger Dec 8, 2009

    some of you folks are hilariously cynical. Obama is trying everything he can to get the economy going for as many people as he can. how often could you say W cared about you.

  • working for deadbeats Dec 8, 2009

    It's good... it's bad... it's good... it's bad...it's good. I guess the white house wanted a good news report today.

  • snshine62d Dec 8, 2009

    Alwaz2morrow wrote:thanks Obama! you are doing a great job turning around the economy despite what repukeblicans(yes I misspelled it on purpose) say! afterall, it was MCCAIN that said "the economy is fundamentally sound" right before it fell off a cliff. so really, what were you guys thinking when you cast your vote for mccain/palin?

    That's too funny:)and true

  • snshine62d Dec 8, 2009

    Grandpeople wrote: Obama, Obama what at wonderful lier, what a wonderful lier. We are now going backrupt and while he flies around, having date nights and playing like a kid in a candy store while we pay the bills. After a whild none of us will have jobs so he better playt while he can. What a joke he is. Hope and Change - I would like some of my change back I need it for food.

    What is the world are you talking about? And the spelling??

  • snshine62d Dec 8, 2009

    KCfoxie wrote:

    I seriously think that most of the whiners in here were silver spoon babies who don't know what "pull yourself up from the bootstraps" even means.

    I agree whole heartly!!

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