Hiring projection for Greensboro-High Point area among highest in Southeast

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Nearly a quarter of employers in the Greensboro-High Point metropolitan statistical area plan to add jobs during the fourth quarter, according to a Manpower Inc. quarterly survey timed for release Tuesday.

At 23 percent, the hiring projection is among the highest in the Southeast, Manpower said. About 6 percent of employers said they would cut jobs during the quarter.

Manpower, similar to other research groups that generate MSA-level data, has excluded the Winston-Salem MSA from its surveys in recent years because, at No. 105, it was not ranked among the nation’s 100 largest MSAs.

However, Manpower spokeswoman Mary Ann Lasky said that will change when the group releases its first-quarter survey in December.

At that time, the group’s research will reflect the March 2013 grafting of Davidson County into the Winston-Salem MSA by the federal government. That addition raises the MSA’s national ranking to 81st.

The hiring outlook has remained fairly stable in the Greensboro-High Point MSA over the past year, with 24 percent of employers expressing hiring plans and 6 percent expecting to cut jobs during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Manpower spokeswoman Natasha Lee said employers in the following sectors expressed plans to add employees: construction, nondurable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail trade, financial activities, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government.

The only sector that indicated an overall expectation of job cuts was in information technology.

The Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord MSA, with 26 percent of employers expecting to add jobs, is listed among the nation’s top eight job markets. In the Raleigh-Cary MSA, 20 percent of employers plan to add jobs.

For North Carolina, 22 percent of employers expect to add employees during the fourth quarter. It was ranked among the top seven states for hiring projections.

The hiring would be welcome in a state with an 8.9 percent unemployment rate during July. The U.S. rate is 7.4 percent.

North Carolina is tied with Rhode Island with having the third-highest unemployment rate in the country, behind only Nevada and Illinois.

The Triad’s unemployment rate was at 9.2 percent in July, down from 10.3 percent in July 2012, but up from 8.6 percent in April, the N.C. Commerce Department reported.

The 11,600 decrease in government jobs in the Winston-Salem and Greensboro-High Point metropolitan statistical areas likely was caused by annual seasonal factors, primarily public-school teachers entering the job market after the school year ended. Teachers are listed as unemployed once their school-year contract ends.

Excluding government jobs, there was a net loss of 200 private-sector jobs in the Winston-Salem MSA during July. The biggest net gain was 900 jobs in leisure and hospitality, while the biggest losses were 1,000 professional and business services jobs and 300 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

The Greensboro-High Point MSA of Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham counties had a loss of 7,000 government jobs and a net gain of 100 jobs in the private sector. It had a net gain of 400 jobs in the professional and business services and 200 in leisure and hospitality and a loss of 200 manufacturing jobs.

“The real story here is that we’re seeing in the Triad what we’re seeing across the state – job creation is occurring in those industries that pay the lowest wages – which is problematic for future consumer spending and economic growth,” said Allen Freyer, public policy analyst with the N.C. Budget & Tax Center.

Freyer said leisure and hospitality jobs typically pay about $8.30 an hour in North Carolina – more than $12 below the statewide average. Over the past year, it was either the fastest or second-fastest growing industry in 10 metro areas.

Credit: Winston-Salem Journal