Survey: Raleigh-Cary job market one of nation's weakest

Posted June 14, 2011 6:27 a.m. EDT
Updated June 14, 2011 6:53 a.m. EDT

— Job seekers in the Raleigh-Cary metro area may have a tough time finding work this fall. Meanwhile, those who are working face a higher chance of being laid off.

That’s the grim news in a third quarter employment survey of companies from recruitment services firm Manpower.

While 15 percent of companies say they plan to add workers, another 13 percent anticipate cutting staff, Manpower reported. That net 2 percent of additional hiring makes Raleigh-Cary one of the weakest job markets in the new survey, Manpower said.

While headlining the job market as “modest,” a year ago 19 percent of companies were looking to hire while 5 percent planned cuts. In the second quarter, 11 percent of firms were hiring while an equal percentage were planning cuts.

Of the remaining firms in the new survey, 66 percent planned to maintain staff levels. That’s down 6 percentage points from the previous quarter and five percentage points from a year ago.

North Carolina's unemployment rate in April was 9.7 percent. The May rate will be released June 17. In May 2010, the jobless rate was 10.3 percent. Unemployment in Raleigh-Cary in April was 7.7 percent.

For those seeking work, Manpower said best changes are in:

  • Durable and non-durable goods
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation and utilities
  • Financial activities
  • Professional and business services
  • Other services

Anticipating cuts are companies in:

  • Wholesale and retail trade, education and health services
  • Government

The Manpower survey covers all 50 states and the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas. Durham-Chapel Hill is a separate MSA and is not surveyed separately.

State forecast

Across North Carolina, the hiring picture is better with 21 percent of companies planning to hire and 8 percent looking to make cuts. The net employment outlook is 13 percent.

The previous quarter, 13 percent of firms were looking to hire and 8 percent anticipated cuts.

A year ago, the index was a plus-12 when 17 percent of firms looked to hire and 5 percent planned cuts.

Best jobs prospects are in construction, durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail trade, information, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality and other services.

Cuts are most expected in government.

National forecast

Nationally, the net hiring percentage is 8 percent, the same as the second quarter and up two points from a year ago.

“Although employers are not signaling dramatic upswings in hiring plans, there does seem to be hiring energy developing based on sustained year-over-year growth,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas. “This is also the 11th consecutive quarter with a single-digit Net Employment Outlook, indicating a level of caution not seen among employers in the last 30 years of data. This fact, along with many clouds still on the economic horizon, may explain the tepid labor market growth we have seen so far.”