More job openings in 2012 than 2011, Piedmont group predicts

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Those making New Year’s resolutions to get hired will have a better chance next year, according to a Piedmont organization’s end-of-year study.

The Piedmont Triad Partnership said Friday at least 60 local businesses are looking to hire in 2012.

Penny Whiteheart with the Piedmont Triad Partnership said 2011 was a rough year for hiring, but “we believe 2012 is going to pick up.”

The fields expected to see the most job openings are aviation and health care.

“Honda made a lot of news with their expansion, and we believe aviation holds a lot of promise for our regional economy,” Whiteheart said.

For every job announced in manufacturing, more jobs should show up in service, retail and other sectors, Whiteheart said.

Nearly 4,800 new jobs were announced in the Triad this year, which was about the same number as in 2010. Both more than doubled 2009, when only 2,200 new jobs were announced in the year after the recession.

The prediction comes as the Piedmont’s unemployment rate still lags behind the state.

“It’s hovering right under 10 percent for the Piedmont Triad region as a whole right now, with unemployment in some counties down in the 9 percent range and in some counties around 12 percent. It’s definitely too high for us right now,” Whiteheart said.

One of the companies that hired in the past year was Recycling Management Resources in High Point. As their orders have increased, they’ve hired more workers.

“We’ve steadily added people all throughout the year. In fact we added a worker about two weeks ago,” said Phillip Drew with Recycling Management Resources.

The company has four plants in the region, and Drew said they are looking to buy a fifth plant.