by Jordan Green

Monitoring the economic pulse of the Triad

State posts jobs gains Seasonally adjusted non-farm employment in North Carolina grew by 27,400 jobs, or 1.8 percent in 2012, according to the most recent numbers released by the NC Department of Commerce. The most significant growth was in professional and business services, followed by leisure and hospitality; education and health services; and trade, transportation and utilities.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped from 10.4 percent in December 2011 to 9.2 percent in December 2012.

“Relatively strong payroll growth during the fourth quarter of 2012, particularly in November, resulted in the highest annual rate of job growth posted in the last few years,” said John Quinterno, an economist with South by North Strategies in Chapel Hill. “The labor market nevertheless is recovering at an excruciatingly slow pace. North Carolina still has 4.1 percent fewer jobs than it did five years ago, and if not for uncharacteristically high job growth in November, the jobs gap would be even wider.”

The Department of Commerce plans to release data on county unemployment rates for December on Jan. 30.