GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Unemployment rates in the Piedmont Triad increased slightly in August, although not as much as in July.

Most of the 14 counties saw an uptick of two or three percentage points from rates that remain well below last year.

A hiring sign is placed at a booth for prospective employers during a job fair. Unemployment has risen slightly but remains low. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Statewide unemployment increased in 98 of the 100 counties and had a seasonally adjusted rate of 3.5%, based on data released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The other two counties didn’t change.

Five counties in the Triad remained below the statewide rate, ranging from 3.4% in Yadkin County to 4.5% in Guilford County, which typically has the highest rate among those 14 counties.

Edgecombe County had the highest unemployment rate statewide, at 7.9%, and Buncombe, Swain and Chatham Counties each had the lowest (3.1%).

All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases, the report said. Rocky Mount had the highest rate, at 6.5%, and Asheville and Durham-Chapel Hill each had the lowest (3.2%).

The Greensboro-High Point metro area (which includes Randolph and Rockingham counties) had the most significant job growth of those 15 markets, gaining 2,400 jobs (or .7%). Winston-Salem (Forsyth, Davidson, Davie, Yadkin and Stokes) was down by .4%, and Burlington, which is Alamance County, fell by .2%.

Alleghany and the Montgomery counties had the smallest increase for unemployment rates in the Triad (each one-tenth a percentage), and Randolph, Rockingham and Stokes each increased by three-tenths of a point. The rest were all plus .2.

Statewide report

The statewide rate was up .1% from July but remained lower than the national rate of 3.7%. North Carolina also has the second-highest rate in the region, trailing only West Virginia (3.9%). Virginia is 2.6%, and South Carolina is 3.1%,

Compared to August 2021, unemployment decreased in all 100 counties and all 15 of the metro areas, the report from Commerce said. The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in August by 52,600, to nearly 4.915 million, but those unemployed increased by 9,779, to 199,869. Since August 2021, the number of workers employed statewide has increased by 187,171, and those unemployed has decreased by 40,417.

The most significant job growth was in the leisure-and-hospitality category (3,800 jobs), followed by professional and business services (3,000), education and health services (2,300) and manufacturing (2,100).

National perspective

WalletHub, the financial services site that tracks data to help explain trends, found that only Durham ranked among the top 100 cities that have had the most significant change in unemployment rates from August 2021 to August 2022.

Raleigh ranked No. 107 on the list, and Charlotte came in at No. 132. Winston-Salem was No. 146, and Greensboro was No. 154. Fayetteville was No. 177 on the list of 180.

Source: WalletHub

To determine the cities with the biggest changes in unemployment, WalletHub’s analysts compared the change in unemployment for the latest month for which data was available (August 2022) to July 2022 and to August 2021, August 2020 and August 2019. In the second category, analysts looked at each city’s overall unemployment rate and used the average of those categories to rank the cities.

The top 10 were Hialeah, Florida.; South Burlington, Vermont; Miami; Burlington, Vermont; Juneau, Alaska; Minneapolis; St. Paul, Minnesota; San Jose, California; San Francisco; and Pembroke Pines, Florida.

The bottom five among the 180 cities measured were Wilmington, Del.; Fayetteville; North Las Vegas, Nevada; New York and Dover, Delaware.

Triad unemployment data

                             Aug.          July            June          May          ‘21   

Alamance          4.0             3.8             4.2             3.7             4.9

Alleghany          3.7             3.6             4.1             3.8             4.5

Caswell              4.3             4.1             4.4             3.9             5.4

Davidson          3.7             3.5             3.9             3.4             4.5

Davie                  3.5             3.3             3.7             3.3             4.3

Forsyth              4.0             3.8             4.2             3.7             5.0

Guilford             4.5             4.3             4.6             4.2              5.6

Montgomery   3.8              3.7             4.1             3.6             5.0

Randolph          3.9             3.6              4.0             3.5             4.7

Rockingham     4.4             4.1             4.6             4.1             5.4

Stokes                3.5              3.2              3.7             3.2             4.2

Surry                   3.7             3.5              3.9             3.4             4.4

Wilkes                4.0             3.8             4.3             3.8             4.9

Yadkin               3.4             3.2             3.7             3.3             4.2