by Jordan Green

Monitoring the economic pulse of the Triad

Employment numbers headed in right direction, at least

Unemployment dropped slightly in the Greensboro-High Point and Winston-Salem metro areas from January 2011 to January 2012, according to the latest number released by the NC Department of Commerce on Tuesday. Unemployment in Greensboro-High Point remains the highest among the state’s three major urban areas, at 10.7 percent, compared to 10.4 percent in Charlotte, 9.7 percent in Winston-Salem, 8.4 percent in Raleigh-Cary and 8.0 percent in Durham-Chapel Hill. Greensboro- High Point saw its strongest employment growth in construction, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, while jobs dropped off in government and financial activities. Winston-Salem posted gains in construction and in leisure and hospitality, but losses in information services. Despite the positive trend lines, economist John Quinterno said the growth is too sluggish to make a significant difference. “North Carolina’s local labor markets did not start 2012 too differently than they started 2011,” he said in a prepared statement. “Despite some recent positive revisions, the pace of job growth in the state remains weak relative to the severity of the recession. As a result, nearly a half million North Carolinians are currently unemployed with no community in the state left untouched by the pernicious effects of mass unemployment.”

Job fair scheduled at GTCC on Wednesday

GTCC expects about 3,000 job seekers at a job fair at its Jamestown campus on Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m. Among the employers in 17 different business sectors expected to have representatives were Timco, UPS, High Point Regional Health System, Time-Warner Cable, local law enforcement agencies, BB&T, Biscuitville and Goodwill.