Triangle jobless rate holds steady

Posted August 28, 2009 12:13 p.m. EDT
Updated August 28, 2009 12:20 p.m. EDT

— Unemployment remains stubbornly high across the Triangle despite a slight improvement in the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area, the North Carolina Unemployment Security Commission reported Friday.

The jobless rate decreased slightly in Durham-Chapel Hill to 8.3 percent from 8.4 percent in June.

In Raleigh-Cary, unemployment remained the same in July at 9.1 percent.

For the entire Raleigh-Durham-Cary statistical area, the rate was 9.1 percent. Counties included are: Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Johnston, Person and Franklin.

Even though the rates didn’t change much in the Triangle, the number of people working in non-farm jobs fell by 12,000. Those losses were offset by gains in farming and other job categories excluded from the non-farm classification such as the self-employed and domestic services, according to the ESC.

Influenced in part by summer closings of schools, Durham-Chapel Hill lost 5,800 non-farm jobs with 3,700 coming in government, a drop of 6.5 percent. Manufacturing (700), professional and business services (300), other services (400) and educational and health services (400) sectors also lost jobs. The metro area maintained 278,400 non-farm jobs.

Total jobs, including farming and other categories not counted in non-farm, did increase by nearly 2,000 to 241,879 in July. Unemployment also grew, increasing by 14 to 22,011.

Raleigh-Cary also lost heavily in government jobs (3,900), a decline of 4.3 percent, and reported 499,000 non-farm jobs.

Biggest private sector losses took place in professional and business services (1,600) followed by 600 in leisure and hospitality and 400 in manufacturing.

Overall employment in Raleigh-Cary improved to 514,472 in July from 507,883 in June. The number of unemployed increased as well by more than 600 to 51,718.

The Triangle job report was better than the statewide rate, which dipped slightly to 11.1 percent from 11.2 percent in June. Jobless rates did decline in 59 of the state’s 100 counties.

The jobless rate fell slightly in Rocky Mount to 14.1 percent from 14.3 percent in June, but the city still has the highest unemployment figure among the state’s major metro areas.

Unemployment inched upward in Fayetteville to 9.5 percent in July from 9.4 percent the previous month.

Goldsboro’s jobless rate jumped four tenths of a percentage point to 9.8 percent from 9.4 percent. That increase was the largest in any of the state’s major metropolitan areas for July.

The unemployment rates in each metro area:

• Asheville — 9.0 percent, down from 9.3 percent in June.
• Burlington — 12.6 percent, up from 12.5 percent.
• Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord NC-SC — 12.4 percent, down from 12.5 percent.
• Durham-Chapel Hill — 8.3 percent, down from 8.4 percent.
• Fayetteville — 9.5 percent, up from 9.4 percent.
• Goldsboro — 9.8 percent, up from 9.4 percent.
• Greensboro-High Point — 11.9 percent, down from 12 percent.
• Greenville — 10.9 percent, down from 11.3 percent.
• Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton — 15.1 percent, down from 15.3 percent.
• Jacksonville — 8.8 percent, no change.
• Raleigh-Cary — 9.1 percent, no change.
• Rocky Mount — 14.1 percent, down from 14.3 percent.
• Wilmington — 10.2 percent down from 10.3 percent.
• Winston-Salem — 10.3 percent, down from 10.4 percent.

County by county rates across the state can be found in the graphic accompanying this story.