Published: Aug 24, 2012 01:32 PM
Modified: Sep 18, 2012 11:44 AM
RALEIGH - The Triangle jobless rate crept up in July, but the overall jobs picture remains significantly improved today from a year ago.
The unemployment rate for the area was 7.9 percent in July, up from 7.8 percent in June, according to figures issued Friday by the N.C. Department of Commerce and seasonally adjusted by Wells Fargo in Charlotte.
Even though the region lost more than 1,000 jobs in July, it still has about 25,000 more than it did last year at this time.
“That’s a significant improvement,” said John Quinterno, principal at South by North Strategies in Chapel Hill. “It’s still not great and we shouldn’t throw a party.”
The Triangle includes Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill, among other population centers.
The number of people employed in the Triangle has risen by more than 7,000 so far this year, an anemic rate of growth, said East Carolina University economist James Kleckley.
Still, the Triangle remains the state’s economically healthiest major metropolitan region, ahead of the Triad and the Charlotte area. The Triangle is doing better than the state, which had a jobless rate of 9.6 percent last month. The Triangle is also performing better than the national average, which posted a jobless rate of 8.3 percent for July.
Economists say broader long-term trends are more valid than month-to-month fluctuations when assessing economic health.
“More people are in the labor force, more people are employed and fewer people are unemployed,” Quinterno said.