by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Tale of different stats

The headlines tell different stories. “Unemployment rates decrease in 83 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in October,” trumpeted a news release from the NC Division of Employment Security on Dec. 1. Meanwhile, a press release by economist John Quinterno at South by North Strategies lamented, “Local labor markets deteriorate over the year.”

The difference is that the Division of Employment Security is looking at changes from September to October 2011, while Quinterno is tracking changes from October 2010 through October 2011. The state press release notes that “employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns and therefore it is advisable to focus on the over-theyear changes.”

Quinterno reports that over the previous 12 months unemployment rates rose in 78 of the state’s 100 counties. Unemployment has essentially remained flat in the Triad, with 0 percent change in Forsyth County and a 0.2 percent increase in Guilford.

Among the state’s three major urban regions, the Triad falls in the middle, with unemployment at 9.8 percent, while the hits to the financial industry leave Charlotte worst off, at 10.5

percent, and the Triangle, with state government as a cushion, enjoys the lowest rate, at 8 percent.

Any meaningful recovery in North Carolina will depend on growth in the three major regions, which to date “remains sluggish,” Quinterno argues.

Guilford County had the second-highest number of initial unemployment claims in October, though it ranks third in population.

Meanwhile, employers report that they are adding jobs.

The Greensboro-High Point metro area, which includes Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham County has charted a 1.3 percent increase over the past year. And while counties and metro areas are not exactly equivalent, it does appear that both unemployment and employment are up. The employment security division reports that the trade, transportation and utilities sector added 2,100 jobs, government added 1,100 jobs and professional and business services added 1,000 jobs, while education and health services took a hit of 700 jobs.

“It has been a static year,” employment security division spokesman Larry Parker said. “The number of people working is up; so is the number of unemployed people. There is an increase in people out there looking for work. Some of them found it. Some of them did not.”

May takes the helm at Krispy Kreme

Kenneth A. May has been named the new president and chief operating officer of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. The former president and CEO of FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Centers, May led the merger of FedEx and Kinko’s, according to a company press release. May was responsible for the direction, growth and development of more than 1,800 retail locations and 22,000 employees in 11 countries, and $2 billion in revenue. May has also served as president of ES3 LLC, “a logistics company that uses advanced robotic technology to make supply chain operations more efficient and profitable for manufacturers and retailers,” according to the press release.

“Being invited to join Krispy Kreme and be a part of taking this iconic brand to the next level is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” the 51-year-old May said in a prepared statement. “I am delighted to be here, and look forward to contributing to Krispy Kreme’s ongoing success and development.” — KTB