Durham-Chapel Hill metro area March unemployment down
Unemployment in the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area was down to 6.7 percent in March, the lowest level for the area since December of 2008.
That’s according to data released Wednesday by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division. The data was preliminary, and was not adjusted for seasonal variations in employment.
The metro area, which includes Durham, Orange, Chatham and Person counties, saw its unemployment rate fall from February’s rate of 7 percent and fall compared a rate of 7.3 percent in March of last year.
The metro area’s labor force grew 1.3 percent in the month compared with the same month last year with the addition of 3,651 workers. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area grew by 2 percent with the addition of 5,117 workers. The number of unemployed people fell by 1,466 workers, for a 7 percent drop.
A survey of jobs on the payroll of a number of businesses in the state showed there was an increase of 7,200 jobs in the metro area compared with March of last year, for an increase of 2.6 percent. There were year-over-year gains in professional and business services and education and health services employment, followed by manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and government.
Compared with February, there were 1,000 jobs added in the metro area in March, with increases in leisure and hospitality, government, trade transposition and utilities, and other services. Manufacturing, professional and business services, as well as education and health services saw declines in employment in March compared with February.
In March in Durham County, the unemployment rate was 6.9 percent, down from a rate of 7.1 percent in February and the fifth lowest out of any of the state’s 100 counties. Last year in March, the county’s unemployment rate was 7.5 percent.
The county’s labor force grew in March compared with the month last year, while its number of employed workers grew by a similar margin. Meanwhile, its number of unemployed people fell year-over-year.
The county’s labor force grew by 2,052 workers, or by 1.4 percent, for a total of 147,706 workers in March. The number of people unemployed in the county fell by 671 to 10,183, while the number of employed workers grew by 2,723 workers, or 2 percent.
Orange County, with a rate of 5.6 percent in March, had the lowest unemployment rate of any county in the state. The county’s rate was down from its own rate of 5.9 percent in February and in March of last year.
Chatham County’s rate of 6.2 percent was the second lowest in the state. The rate was down compared with February’s rate of 6.9 percent and compared with the rate of 8 percent seen in March of last year.
Person County’s unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in March, down from February’s 10.2 percent and March of last year’s rate of 9.8 percent.