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Young and unemployed in the Triad

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The latest unemployment numbers are out and they show a slight increase in June for the number of people looking for a job.

The jobless rate rose to 9.4 percent from 9.1 percent in May and is up almost 1 percent since April’s 8.6 percent rate, the N.C. Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Economists said the rate hike in June was caused by annual seasonal factors, primarily college and high school students and teachers entering the job market after the school year ended. Teachers are listed as unemployed once their school-year contract ends.

For example, there were 1,604 more people – 180,325 – listed in the Forsyth County labor force in June compared with May. Those listed as unemployed rose 642 to 15,910.

However, there was a silver lining for the Winston-Salem metropolitan statistical area of Davie, Forsyth, Stokes and Yadkin counties.

The metro area led the state in gain of jobs by percentage — 1.1 percentage points or 2,200 jobs — from May to June. The biggest gains were in professional and business services at 1,300 jobs and trade, transportation and utilities at 1,100 jobs. It did lose 400 government jobs.

The Greensboro-High Point MSA of Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham counties had a net gain of 2,000 jobs, or up 0.6 percentage points from May.

Altogether, June represented a rare month in which the Triad outpaced the Charlotte area and the Triangle.

North Carolina continues to rank near the top when it comes to young college graduates unemployed.

“One of my fears is that I’ll have to switch to a different career,” said Heather Becraft of Kernersville. She graduated in Spring of 2012 with a degree in elementary education and still can’t find a job.

“I apply online, go to schools, talk to principals and talk to teachers–just nothing. But I’m not giving up,” Becraft said.

Last year it was estimated 93,000, between the age of 20-24, needed jobs.

The Winston-Salem Journal contributed to this report.