GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – There are 150 cities in the country where data analysis suggests the unemployment picture has had a better post-pandemic rebound than it has in Greensboro, and the latest report from North Carolina would indicate that analysis is accurate.
WalletHub, the credit report portal that collects and sorts data about our lives, ranked Greensboro’s recuperation from the disastrous job market of 2020 as No. 151 on a list of 180 cities it compared using March’s unemployment reports.
That evaluation was based on Greensboro’s 4.4% unemployment rate for March 22, which was markedly higher than the nation’s 3.6% and the state’s 3.5%. Adjusted figures released Tuesday by the North Carolina Department of Commerce showed that Guilford County’s 4.2% was the worst among 14 counties in the Piedmont Triad and well above the state’s average.
WalletHub reported that the nation’s unemployment rate is 76% lower than its peak of 14.7% during the pandemic. It ranked those 180 cities by comparing changes in rates from March 2022 to March and January in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Greensboro’s rate is 7.6% higher than it was in March 2019 and 8.3% higher than in January 2020, but it’s 4.7% better than in March 2020 and 29.18% better than in March 2021. Still, those swings to the positive weren’t good when you compare them to the nation’s cities.
The state’s trends
Although the Department of Commerce reported that unemployment had decreased in 85 of the state’s 100 counties from February’s report, none of North Carolina’s cities fared very well in WalletHub’s trend analysis.
Durham, which has the best unemployment in the state – 2.8% in March – ranked only No. 79 for its progress. Raleigh was No. 83, Winston-Salem was No. 122, and Charlotte was No. 129. In North Carolina, only Fayetteville (No. 174) fared worse than Greensboro.
The NC DOC reported that all 15 metro areas in the state showed decreases in rate from March 2021. Rocky Mount had the highest rate (6.1%), and Durham-Chapel Hill (2.8%) was the lowest.
When you look at the counties in the Triad, as the state measured them, only Rockingham (4.1%) and Caswell (3.8%) joined Guilford with a rate higher than the state’s average. Stokes had the best rate, 3%.
The NC DOC reported that unemployment also was unchanged from February in 12 counties and rose in three. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate, 8.7%, and Orange County’s was the lowest, at 2.4%. But all 100 counties were down compared to March 2021.
The state said the number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in March by 55,989, to 4,903,187, while those unemployed decreased by 3,303, to 182,334.
Since March 2021, the number of workers employed statewide increased by 234,982, and those unemployed decreased by 77,108, the DOC’s release said.
WalletHub reported that the most improved areas of unemployment were all in Arizona (nine of the top 15) or Vermont (two of the top 10). That was led by Scottsdale (with a 1.9% unemployment rate in March), Tempe (2.1%) and Gilbert (1.9%) in Arizona, then Burlington, Vermont, which had a 1.5% rate, and then Chandler, Arizona (2.1%). South Burlington, Vermont, was No. 8 despite a 1.4% unemployment rate, the best in the 180 cities.
Not until Warwick, Rhode Island, at No. 11, did the two-state hold break. The best improvement in the South was in St. Petersburg, Florida, which was No. 14 and has 2.4% unemployment.