GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Unemployment rates across the Piedmont Triad trickled up by as much as a half-point in June, although they remained significantly lower than a year ago.

That followed a statewide trend that showed unemployment rates growing in 98 of 100 counties and in all of the 15 metro areas, data released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce revealed.

The statewide rate for June was 3.4%, the same as in May – below the national rate of 3.6% – but none of the 14 counties in the Triad were at or below that rate.

Statewide unemployment rates for June. (NC DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE)

Stokes, Davie and Yadkin counties had the lowest rate in the Triad, at 3.7%, although Stokes’ rate was half-a-point higher, and Davie’s and Yadkin’s increased by .4 of a point.

Guilford County had the highest rate in the Triad, increasing by .4 to 4.6%. Nine of the counties increased by half a point.

Statewide report

If you look at job changes among metro areas, Guilford County/High Point grew by .6%, second-best (behind Charlotte) in the state, Burlington grew by .5%, and Winston-Salem fell by .1%.

The Department of Commerce reports that the number of workers employed statewide decreased in June by 13,268 to 4,935,844, and the number of unemployed increased by 22,766. Since June 2021, employment statewide has grown by 220,290, and those unemployed decreased by 63,454.

National perspective

Source: WalletHub

WalletHub, the financial services site that tracks data to help explain trends, found that only two cities in North Carolina rank among the top 100 cities that have had the most significant change in unemployment rates from June 2021 to June 2022, and that was just barely the case.

Raleigh ranked No. 98 on the list, and Durham was No. 100. Charlotte came in at No. 115. Winston-Salem was No. 147, and Greensboro was No. 148. Fayetteville was No. 173.

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 (June 2022) to May 2022, June 2021, June 2020 and June 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 Miami, Hialeah, Fla.; Springfield, Mo.; Manchester, N.H.; Kansas City; Warwick, R.I.; San Francisco; Nashua, N.H.; San Jose, Calif.; and St. Louis.

The bottom five among the 180 cities measured were Wilmington, Del.; Memphis; Cleveland; Brownsville, Texas; Dover, Del.; and Detroit.

Geoffrey Carliner (WALLETHUB)

“The unemployment rate in February was 3.9%, almost back to the very low rate in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit,” Geoffrey Carliner of Boston University’s Department of Economics, told WalletHub. “Before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the unemployment rate was back to pre-crisis levels. It is unlikely to stay this low.

“Even before the invasion, inflation had become a serious problem, and the Fed had announced that it was going to raise interest rates. With oil prices now spiking even higher, because of the war in Ukraine, and inflation rising further, interest rates are going to rise more and faster than the Fed was planning before the invasion.

“How much unemployment will rise is unclear, but some rise in the next 6 to 12 months is almost certain.”

Triad unemployment data

                             June          May          Apr            Mar           ‘21   

Alamance         4.2             3.7             3.4             3.5             5.5

Alleghany          4.1             3.8             3.4             3.3             5.2

Caswell              4.4             3.9             3.6             3.8             6.1

Davidson          3.9             3.4             3.2             3.3             5.2

Davie                  3.7             3.3             3.1             3.1             4.9

Forsyth              4.2             3.7             3.5             3.6             5.6

Guilford             4.6             4.2             4.0             4.2             6.4

Montgomery   4.1             3.6             3.3             3.4             5.5

Randolph          4.0             3.5             3.2             3.3             5.5

Rockingham     4.6              4.1             3.9             4.0             6.4

Stokes                3.7             3.2             2.9             3.0             4.9

Surry                   3.9             3.4             3.0             3.1             5.1

Wilkes                4.3             3.8             3.5              3.5              5.6

Yadkin               3.7             3.3             3.1              3.1              5.3