Business Briefs

Triangle unemployment rate falls to 7.8 percent

Posted April 27, 2012 10:29 a.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2012 11:30 a.m. EDT

— The jobless rate in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metro area fell to 7.8 percent in March from 8.2 percent in February and 8.3 percent a year ago, the state said Friday.

Statewide, the jobless rate declined in 98 of 100 counties from the previous month and fell in 85 when compared to a year ago, the Labor and Economic Analysis Division of the state Department of Commerce said..

The state unemployment rate is 9.6 percent.

Jobless rates also fell in the state's major metropolitan areas.

Employers added 14,122 jobs while the number of unemployed fell 26,890. However, the number of workers was not seasonally adjusted, which economists consider a more reliable figure.

According to the Bureau of Business Research at East Carolina University, the Triangle's seasonally adjusted jobless rate is 7.6 percent, the same as in February and half a percentage point below March 2011.

People who are unemployed, no longer receiving benefits and no longer seeking work are not calculated in jobless numbers.

Orange County had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 6 percent.

Employers in the Raleigh-Cary metro area added 4,500 jobs in March, an increase of just under 1 percent from February. Compared to a year ago, some 12,600 jobs have been added, an increase of 2.5 percent.

Of the new jobs, 1,500 were added in mining, logging and construction while another 1,500 were created in leisure and hospitality.

In the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area, employers added 1,600 jobs or 0.6 percent. Employment is up 5,000, or 1.8 percent, from the same time in 2011.

Biggest job increases came in manufacturing (700) and leisure and hospitality (500).